Women's Health South Africa
LOVE AT FIRST SWEAT Image Credit: Women's Health South Africa
LOVE AT FIRST SWEAT Image Credit: Women's Health South Africa

Love At First Sweat

What happens when you mix getting fit with looking for your forever fit? WH investigates the latest trend in dating: working out together

Marissa Gainsburg

Once upon a time, working out involved walking into a gym, doing your thing, then leaving to go about the rest of your day. The only person you’d talk to might be the person at the front desk or the guy hogging the one rowing machine.

That storyline has long since ended. For many, fitness has evolved into an opportunity to meet cool and likeminded people – new friends, sure, but increasingly, romantic partners. According to a Foreo global survey, combined with other data, 70 percent of participants said that their main reason for heading to the gym was to find love and 18 percent even admitted to having sex at the gym. In 2017, one in four people who struck up a flirty convo at the gym ended up in a relationship with that sweaty stranger, another survey found. And did you know, in the past three years alone, at least half a dozen dating apps have sprung up that match users based on mutual workout pursuits? (Look out for: Sweatt, Datefit, and Weights n’ Dates.)

Of course, sheer convenience plays a role in the trend. It makes sense that as people amp up the time they spend being active (gotta get those five days of 30 minutes’ exercise done!), they may have less time for standard socialising, dating included. Combining the two worlds could be, to put it unromantically, a way to optimise your jam-packed schedule. But there’s also a much bigger current at work: the ability to hand-pick a partner who values healthy livi


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