Boost your relationship—and your body.

By Anthea Levi
Updated October 24, 2020

Locking down a dinner reservation is a perfectly fine date idea. But there’s something to be said for getting to know a new partner or deepening your connection with your SO by doing something a little more out of the box.

Research suggests that couples who do novel activities together are more satisfied with their relationships, perhaps because doing something new and exciting takes them back to the early days, when everything felt new and exciting. If you're in those early days now, trying something creative can reveal sides of your personalities you may not see if you stick to the drinks-dinner-movie script.

So whether you're planning a first IRL meetup or need inspiration for your weekly date night, give these 8 date ideas a try. They're all health-focused, so you can boost your relationship and your body at the same time.

Take a sushi-making lesson

Instead of sharing tiger rolls and sashimi at your local sushi restaurant, learn how to make these healthy eats. Cooking schools and many restaurants offer sushi-prep classes. Not only will the interactive experience be fun, it’ll also teach you skills you can bring home. And don't forget the tasty meal you score out of it. Triple win.

Do an exhilarating workout

Couples who sweat together, stay together. Why? Overcoming physical challenges as a twosome can make it easier to turn to each other for emotional support, and that strengthens your bond. Added bonus: Studies show that people are motivated to work harder when they exercise with others. Think beyond a simple jog and bump up the intensity with a more challenging and exhilarating activity, like an indoor rock climbing class, a surf lesson, or a mountain biking excursion.

Go for massages

While it's great to share adventures together, time spent relaxing is worthy too. Nothing will mellow you two out quite like a couples massage. Splurge on the shared spa service for the ultimate #treatyourself day, then try your massage therapist's techniques on each other back at home.

Browse a farmer’s market

Daytime dates are underrated. This weekend, take a trip to your local farmer’s market, checking out the offerings and sampling what's for sale. Then head home to cook up your loot for a seasonal and seriously delicious late lunch or early supper. (Don't forget the market's fresh flowers—a nice romantic touch.) Need recipes? Here are a 52 vegetarian dishes we can’t stop eating. Pair any with some sustainably raised meat from the market, and you’re all set for a healthy date night (or day) in.

Play games

Studies suggest that playing board games can lower your odds of cognitive decline. Plus, there's something sexy about enjoying a little friendly competition with your date or partner. With this in mind, break out the Bananagrams, Scrabble, or Monopoly board. If your typical Saturday night involves group drinks with other couples, invite them over to your place instead for some brain-boosting fun and games.

Bust a move

If it just won't feel like a date unless you dress up, but you don't want to sit around a table or bar, then go dancing. Whether you decide to get down at the club or sign up for an instructional class, you'll get your heart pumping and your metabolism going. Choose whichever venue feels the least intimidating to you and your partner, then let loose.

Go to a coffee tasting

Coffee tastings (or "public cuppings," as they're often called) may not be mainstream yet, but they're popping up at an increasing number of cafes and coffeehouses . Why is it such a stellar healthy date idea? Studies suggest that coffee (minus the heavy cream and spoons of sugar) offers big health benefits, including lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Signing up for one as a couple lets you explore coffee from different regions—and get buzzed with a beverage other than alcohol.

Do a walking tour

Sign up for a walking tour to learn more about your locale and rack up 10K steps at the same time. Plenty of cities offer themed tours, so you can find one that fits your interests—like a guided look at the subway system or an expertly curated walk through the city's largest park. Museum tours and guides through historic sites also allow you two to move around, learn a little history, and strengthen your connection.