If you’re anything like me, being active was not a normal part of growing up, so being active now can sometimes be a challenge. Even though you know how good you feel on a day you’ve managed to start with some exercise compared to a lazy day, sometimes, the idea of feeling good just isn’t enough to get your butt off the couch (or in my case, desk chair) and be the bright and active person you know you can be.
This is where I find Active Dates to be effective. The thing about active dates is that they don’t have to be an over-the-top, super-organised event that costs lots of money and is planned way ahead of time (although, sometimes they can be if you like). Active dates are simply a catch up with someone while you workout that you are more likely to go to because seeing the other person makes you accountable.
I’m a big fan of active dates because it makes exercise more fun and is a more budget-friendly way of catching up with my mates (it’s always nice to save a few bucks). Your active date may be a fitness class that you pay for; I often bring a date (usually Latham or Laura) to my by-donation Saturday morning Grassroots yoga class (it is so darn cheap and I get to see puppies, drink kombucha, and buy some fresh market produce). I also keep a look out for free passes to gyms and other fitness class trials so I can change up my workout without it costing me a thing! (Hello free yoga pass I scored yesterday!) Or sign up for events like the Colour Run or Barefoot Bowls with a big group of mates.
The Lorna Jane Active Living Room have gold coin donation fitness classes and daily walks you can join them for at no cost that my uni ladies and I plan on attending when the semester is over. Also, having active mates means that you can come up with a good strength-based exercise class on your own just using your body weight and a park bench and lots of giggles! (They’re good for your abs, right?!) If you need some inspiration, check out Pinterest, Move Nourish Believe or Sweat and Oranges.
My neighbour Debbie and I often debrief over our 30-40ish minute hill-walk after a hard day of uni clinics or to break up a day of assignment writing, which not only makes our butts look amazing, but gets us out in the fresh air and let’s us talk through whatever we might be feeling at the time (boys are kind of useless for that!).
The boyfriend and I always take our guests from Victoria on that same hill-walk, and often for a bush walk at Mt Coot-tha because it takes up a large portion of the day, is close by, costs nothing and gives you a great view of Brisbane. We pack lunches, water and minimal first aid and make a day of it! We even celebrated our anniversary there this year with a bush walk (Matt knows amazing facts about animals so I’m always learning something new when he’s around).
Organising a mountain climb is another great active date we’ve done a few times. It sounds daunting, but not all mountains are the day trip that Mt Bogong was (she’s a biggun!). We undertook that one with a large group and will be forever proud of our achievement (as well as being able to say – from my mums kitchen – “see that mountain, I’ve climbed to the very top of that and it was amazing!!”).
Our mate Peyman took us to Mt Coolum on the Sunshine Coast and we could see the whole stretch of those white sandy beaches and the ocean (and Clive Palmer’s ridiculous dinosaur). While the 1000 Steps walk in the Dandenong Ranges is one in Melbourne that I’ve heard great things about and I plan on climbing at the end of this year (who’s with me?!).
I also like to make sure we bring a Frisbee and/or Grip Ball when we go to picnics and the beach. It’s always fun to have a throw around with mates. I’m a big fan of beach/backyard cricket or playing kick-to-kick with a footy too!
Active dates are also a great excuse to eat a super-nourishing meal because you feel so energised you don’t want to spoil it by filling your body with junk! Whether it be a nutritious packed lunch, going home to cook a nourishing feast together, or finding a nourishing market stall/restaurant/cafe just adds to that bubbly, clean, active feeling! So don’t let the date just stop with the workout.
If exercise is new to you, you really should give active dates a try. They’re a fun way to make your day active, make you accountable because you don’t want to disappoint your friend/s, make you more open to trying new things (or looking like a dork), are cheap, let you explore your area and see/learn something new, and can renew your motivation and inspiration for the week ahead.
I’d love more active date inspiration, so please, tell me your favourite active dates that you’ve had and the nourishing foods you have after.