Looking for something fun and unique to do with your partner? Or, even for yourself? It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of doing the same old things week after week, year after year. But there’s no magic in living that way. We have to spice things up from time to time. If we’re going to hold onto the joyful adventure of life, we have to find activities that can stimulate us in new ways and help us see the world through fresh eyes. These healthy date ideas can do just that.
With this post, I’m bringing my six-part series titled 6 Little Things to a close. For those of you who’ve just hopped on board, it’s been a collection of six simple things I’m currently cultivating to generate more health, happiness, and enjoyment in my life. (You can find the previous five at the following links: Mindful Eating, Mantra Practice, Self-Confident Posture, Waking Up Early, & Intention-Setting).
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing all these practices with you. Each one has enriched my life in immeasurable ways, and I hope they’re doing the same for you. But, I’ve saved this last post for the end because it’s by far the most fun.
Having Fun is an Important Part of Healthy, Joyful Living
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE fun! It’s important to me to bring self-discipline to my daily life, so I can take care of my well-being and create the best possible life for myself. But, it’s just as important to me that I keep my joyful and adventurous spirit alive. Without the joy and adventure, life becomes monotonous. We lose that special something that makes every cell in our body rejoice at the wondrous gift of life. It’s that extra ingredient that keeps our whole system strong and thriving, saying YES to life in every moment.
One of the ways I’m tapping into joy and adventure lately is getting out of my comfort zone to try new things. Specifically, getting creative about healthy date ideas for my husband and me to enjoy together.
If you can relate to the need to invite some fresh air into your life, then these healthy date ideas might just do the trick. And, please note, everything I’m sharing today can be done alone or with a friend, too. Even if you’re flying solo right now, or you’re just looking for some healthy ways to spend time with yourself, this article can help inspire you.
Why Explore New, Healthy Date Ideas
I married my high school sweetheart 24 years ago. We dated for 4 years before that, which means we’ve been together a long time! During that time, we’ve traveled a lot, enjoyed an abundance of live music all across the country, built several businesses together, and watched each other grow into newer, wiser versions of ourselves. It’s been an incredible journey. But, just like any couple who’s been together a long time, raised a family, and been through the career grind, we’ve fallen into certain routines for the sake of ease and habit. Not all of them have been healthy.
This past year, my husband had a career change, which meant he wouldn’t be traveling as much as he had been. Consequently, our life slowed down quite a bit, and we found ourselves savoring a new, more settled pace. It was exactly what we needed! However, he was coming out of an incredibly stressful work environment that had wreaked havoc on his health. The slower pace was a welcome reprieve, but he needed more than that.
Thankfully, he now had the time and mental space to focus on taking care of himself. After some honest self-reflection, he realized he had to get more active and make it a priority to eat healthier. And, perhaps most of all, he knew he needed to reconnect to his zest for life.
Seeing Things Through Fresh Eyes
In the midst of all this, we took a look around us and realized it had been a long time since we’d tried something new & fun together. For years, we’d been looking to travel destinations for inspiration. Our own city, which we grew up in, had become boring and mundane for us. We cycled through several select restaurants, only occasionally venturing beyond to add a new favorite into the mix. We rarely, if ever, participated in local community activities, spending time instead at business functions and small gatherings of friends & family. Or, simply relaxing in front of the TV at home. We’d become quite comfortable creatures of habit.
In response to this, we decided to start making it a point to do things that were out of our wheelhouse. Instead of going to the same old places that had become our go-to answers for what to do on a date, we poked a little deeper to see what charms we’d been missing out on in our city and the hill country towns that surround us. Healthy things that would get us moving. Inspiring things that would give us new perspective and help us appreciate our little corner of the world more.
The result? We fell in love with our city and all it has to offer. We got to know each other in fresh, new ways. And, we felt healthier, more invigorated, and more enchanted with the wonder of this life we’re sharing together. You don’t get that doing the same ole, same ole week after week.
If you and your partner have gotten into a rut, I encourage you to try shaking things up a bit. Injecting some new, healthy date ideas into your routine can support not only the overall health of each of you as individuals, but also the health of your relationship. It’s a clear win-win!
How to Come Up With Healthy Date Ideas
You might be wondering what constitutes a healthy date idea. Or, how to go about finding healthy activities you’ll actually enjoy doing together. (Let’s face it, going to the gym isn’t exactly a date. At least not in my book.) Well, turns out, coming up with these ideas is actually part of the joy and adventure!
My husband and I take turns offering up suggestions. Sometimes, this means one of us is more stretched to try something beyond our comfort zone than the other. But, it also means we get to witness new passions & curiosities in each other. We’re even seeing old interests – those relegated to the back burner so many times over the years we thought they’d died – being newly revived. And, the roles we each fell into over time, the ones we got used to seeing each other play out through habit and convenience, have taken on new dimensions. Delightfully, we’re looking at each other with fresh eyes again.
You Can Find Inspiration Everywhere
Our healthy date ideas have come from many sources. As mentioned, we’ve found inspiration from old interests that fell away as life’s more pressing demands took priority. Also, in passions we’ve kept alive but haven’t shared with each other as much as we might have liked to. We’ve looked at our city through the eyes of a traveler, revisiting attractions we long ago wrote off as for tourists only. We’ve followed suggestions from posts on social media about upcoming events and activities other people are partaking in. Things that, in the past, we would’ve registered as interesting but never gone out and actually done. And, we’ve even consulted those lists and calendars for Things to Do in My City you can easily find on the internet.
It’s been refreshing and eye-opening to see just how much there really is to do right around us. Of course, you too can turn to these sources for your inspiration. But, to give you a head start, I’ve compiled some suggestions for healthy date ideas you’re likely to have access to in your area.
Suggestions for Healthy Date Ideas
For my husband and me, a healthy date idea means doing something that gets us moving, gets us outdoors, helps us see the world in a new way, or connects us to our community. In particular, we’ve been trying to get away from relying on restaurants for all or even most of our dates. So often, eating-out means we’re consuming way more calories and unhealthy ingredients than we would take-in if we just prepared our meals at home. With all of that in mind, the following categories for date ideas have naturally surfaced.
Physically Active Date Ideas
- Hiking (my absolute favorite!)
- Walk in a park
- Basketball (On my hubby’s list, and one that’s definitely out of my comfort zone. He actually wants to join a couples’ league…we’ll see how that goes!)
- Disc Golf (This is one of those things we used to do, and LOVE, in college. Turns out, we’ve got several courses right around us!)
- Join a Dodgeball team (Another of my husband’s ideas. This one, I had to say no to. It’s okay to say no if the idea’s just not something you’ll enjoy.)
- Partner Yoga (On my list, and definitely way outside my husband’s wheelhouse. It’s highly probable he won’t go through with this one.)
- Skating (Ice or Roller)
- Riding Bikes
- Dance Lessons (Salsa, ballroom, western…whatever fits your style.)
- Walking the little shops downtown or in a small town nearby
- Pedal Boating or Paddle Boarding on a lake
- Archery (Indoor or outdoor range. This was my pick, something I’d long been intrigued by but had never given a real try. It’s surprisingly meditative. We both walked away from it feeling perfectly serene and focused.)
Outdoor Date Ideas
- Any of the above activities that also involve being outside
- Moonlight picnic, gazing at the stars (great opportunity for expansive conversation)
- Daytime picnic
- Explore a cave (If you happen to have one within driving distance. We have several and thoroughly enjoy seeing the earth from the inside-out.)
- Visit the Farmer’s Market
- See an outdoor concert
- Go to a festival (music, food, or other special interest)
- Go to the Zoo
- Visit your local botanical gardens or nature center
- Go to the beach, river, or lake
- Go to the Flea Market
- Miniature Golf
- Fly kites
Adventurous Date Ideas
- Sky Diving (We opted for the less scary indoor version. It was exhilarating!)
- Rock Climbing (gym version or outdoors)
- Escape Room (where you have to solve clues to find your way out of the room)
- Race Car Driving
- Bungee Jump
- Ride the roller coasters at your local amusement park
- Try a new cuisine, sample several dishes together
- Zip Line
- Take a Ghost Tour in your city
- Laser Tag (This one’s so much fun! I can’t stop laughing as I’m chasing him around the maze.)
Cultural Date Ideas
- Museums (historical, art, music…whatever your city has to offer)
- Visit the cultural centers in your city
- Cultural events (including ones outside your own culture)
- Comedy Shows
- Poetry Readings
- Art Shows (don’t forget about the smaller, local art offerings)
- Take a class (painting, pottery, cooking, etc.)
- Take a historical tour of your city
- See a local play
- Go to the ballet or the symphony
- Go to a concert
- See local live music (explore different genres…jazz, blues, Americana, country, rock, etc.)
Community-Based Date Ideas
- Volunteer for a good cause
- Participate in a walk or run to raise funds for a charity
- Attend an event that supports a good cause
- Take part in a river or other natural area clean-up
- Attend city-sponsored events (fireworks displays, parades, home & garden shows, health fairs, etc.)
- Support your local sports teams by attending a game
- Check out a new church
- Go to a social event sponsored by your church
Healthy Eating Tips for Your Date
- Cook at home (make it special with candles, flowers, & some chill music)
- Make the rounds, over a series of dates, to the healthiest restaurants in your town
- Take a healthy cooking class (You can even do this at home, using an online course)
- Share your food (My husband and I like to share an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. We get plenty of flavor variety without over-eating.)
- 3-Bite Rule (This builds on the above tip for sharing food. We never skimp on dessert. It’s a treat and part of the enjoyment of life! But, we each take only 3 bites. You never really need more than that.)
Healthy Dates Encourage a Long, Fulfilling Life Together
Your city, and the areas that surround it, have their own unique offerings for healthy date ideas. This list can help get your creative thinking flowing, but it’s by no means exhaustive. The key is to start thinking outside the box. And, to get motivated to change-up your routines, to do something new and adventurous to stimulate the flow of fresh air in your life. When we explore our interests, curiosities, and possibilities with our significant others, we create opportunities for bonding at deeper levels. We give ourselves, and our partners, the freedom to embrace life to its fullest – in the way we each as individuals define that.
And, when we choose to spend our time together engaging in activities that support our health and well-being, our commitment to loving life together gets reinforced. We’re telling ourselves and each other, we’re in this for the long haul. The more health and vitality we cultivate, the happier and longer we’ll live.
My husband and I are in our mid-forties. We’re not ready to start a long, slow decline into ill-health or less meaningful engagement with the world. We’re aiming to use the wisdom we’ve gained along the way to make the last half of our life together the best years yet. These healthy date ideas are a big part of that picture for us. Hopefully, they can do the same for you.
What do you think? Did you find some fun, healthy date ideas to explore with your partner or on your own? With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect opportunity to do so. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. And if you have some ideas to add to my list, please share them!
So there it is…the conclusion to my 6 Little Things series. I hope you’ve found it useful, and that it has inspired insight and growth in some meaningful ways for you. It’s been a joy sharing it.
Have a wonder-full weekend!