Spending a night at the movie theater with your loved one is a very popular option for Valentine’s Day. In fact, just last year people all over the world spent a total of $38 billion at the box office. Sitting in the dark watching the latest movie on the big screen sure sounds like a picture perfect backdrop for romance - but have you ever thought about what a night like this can do to your health?

Why Is A Movie Date Bad For Your Health?

When you sit for the two hour movie, you’re wreaking havoc on your insides. Studies show that sitting for long periods of time have a negative impact on your overall health. On top of that, after sitting all day at work, it probably isn’t the best idea to sit for a couple more hours at the movie theater.

Then there’s the snacks. On average, a large popcorn contains about 1,000 calories (plus 130 more calories for each teaspoon of butter) and 60 grams of saturated fat. If you intend to grab a soda to wash down your popcorn, you can add anywhere from 380 to 700 more calories as well as almost 174 grams of sugar! If you add these numbers up, the total’s almost all of your allotted 2,000 calories for the day and well over the recommended amount of your daily fat and sugar intake.

What Could We Do Instead?

As it turns out, there are many date night possibilities you can enjoy with your partner that are much healthier than sitting and snacking at the movies. We’ve listed a couple of our favorites below.

1. Grab some gear and get ready to (rock) climb! Whether you stick with the warmth of an indoor facility or you take your date outside, rock climbing is a unique way to spend some time with your loved one while still challenging yourself physically. Scaling a wall requires the use of all your muscles from your feet to to your hands - making the experience a full body workout. Depending how hard you push yourself, you could burn up to 700 calories in one hour. Climbing with a partner is also a fun way to build trust in your relationship as you decipher the puzzle of rocks before you.

2. Dance your night away: What better way to spark some romance than learning a new skill together? Dance lessons in particular invoke imagery of passionate and excitement. And depending on the dance you choose, developing this skill could also be a rewarding cardio exercise. For example, the fast steps and pace required for a salsa dance pushes your heart rate above 100 beats per minute - the target heart rate for cardio strengthening. After a full hour of twisting, turning, and dancing, you could burn up to 500 calories.

3. Get a steamy detox: By itself, yoga offers many positive health benefits to your body. Add a little heat to the mix and you get a whole new experience. Hot yoga normally takes place in a room heated to about 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The extra heat helps your muscles stretch into the required positions for the poses. As you sweat, your pores and glands go into detox - helping your body reset itself. As for your date? When you practice yoga with a partner, experts say you feel more confident in yourself and develop a deeper understanding for your partner. Overall, some sources say you and your partner could burn up to 1,000 calories during a 90 minute hot yoga session.

The next time you’re planning a date with your loved one, step back and think about how healthy the option you’re choosing really is. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to a night at the movies; your partner might even appreciate a little creativity in your date nights. So grab your date, have some fun, and get moving - you won’t regret it!

*Image courtesy of Pixabay