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Good to Go: Exercise date ideas for Valentine's Day

Tuesday - 2/5/2013, 10:37am  ET

Fondue512.jpg
Get a healthy dose of fruit with your chocolate on Valentine's Day. See Katie Howard's fondue recipe below. (WTOP/Katie Howard)

Katie Howard, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Dinner and a movie always make for a great date night, but how about breaking a sweat instead this Valentine's Day?

Enjoy mixing it up and moving this Feb. 14 with your date, family or a group of friends. After all, exercising is a way to show you truly love yourself, and how appropriate on Valentine's Day.

Here are some fitness-inspired activities that will help burn those calories from heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.

Dancing

If you and your significant other want to become better dance partners, then Valentine's Day is a perfect time to start taking a couples dance lesson. Two Left Feet in Gaithersburg, Md. offers group, couples and individual dance lessons. On Feb. 15, the dance spot holds its annual Valentine's dance and cocktail hour for $20 per person -- that is if you RSVP in advance. Otherwise it costs $25. Chevy Chase Ballroom in D.C. also offers dance lessons and a Valentine's-themed dance on Feb. 15.

Surprise your sweetheart with a Groupon for dance lessons from the Arthur Murray studio. Locations in Virginia, Maryland and the District offer a $49 deal, including two private dance lessons, two group classes and two open parties. The deal remains for a limited time only and has a value of $338, according to the company.

The Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo in Glen Echo, Md. and the Capital Blues dance company will play host to a dance party for blues lovers on Feb. 14. The event costs $8 and occurs 8:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. A beginner workshop will be held 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. and offers important partnering basics for new dancers. The class is included with admission and no partner is necessary.

If you have a family and plan to spend the evening at home, why not have your own dance party? It's easy to do, definitely inexpensive and I find kids to be the best dancers with their generally no holds barred mentalities.

Ice skating

If skating around while holding mitten-clad hands sounds romantic to you, then check out the Washington area's many ice skating rinks and skate times on Feb. 14. Ice skating can be both a singles and family-friendly fitness activity. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink in D.C. is a beautiful backdrop and it has DJs in the Garden: Spin, Cut, & Groove events with a different guest DJ spinning as skaters whizz by the booth on most Thursdays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. DJ Stylus is scheduled to perform 80s R&B, boogie and Valentine's Day slow jams this Valentine's Day, according to the rink's website .

Yoga

Stretching together and doing partner yoga exercises is a healthy way to celebrate Valentine's Day or the week leading up to it. The Down Dog yoga studios is offering "Valentine's Day Partner Yoga" on Feb. 9 at the company's Herndon, Va. location. "Bring your sweetie, your friend, a sister or brother -- or bring no one at all and we'll hook you up," the Down Dog website says. The cost is $35 for the event.

Cardio

Start the day and heart off right with a burst of cardio while going for a run or walk with your partner, family or a group of friends. Many local area gyms and fitness studios also offer partner-themed workouts. If you have a membership, check out your local facility as Feb. 14 nears.

A slightly healthy recipe

Why not try a recipe idea for a fondue-style Valentine's Day date snack? At least, you can get a healthy dose of fruit with your chocolate. Here is what you will need.

  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate dip
  • Fondue-type pot and spears for dipping

Directions:

  1. Buy candy for melting or prepared chocolate dip. Melt chocolate discs or heat up the prepared chocolate dip on a stove top or in a microwave.
  2. Slice tops off strawberries and cut pineapple and bananas into cubes.
  3. Prepare a fondue dipping setting if you have a fondue set. If not, no problem. Simply pour the melted chocolate in a bowl and use your own dipping or kabob spears.

Editor's Note: WTOP's Katie Howard is a mom on the go. With two children under age 5, she's always looking for ways to provide her family fast and healthy snacks, meals and activities. Katie shares her go-to food and family fitness tips every Tuesday on her blog "Good to Go."

Follow @WTOPLiving on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)