health

Forget online dating. This is where you go to pick up.

“Well helloooooo there.”

By NATALIA HAWK

All the single ladies! All the single ladies! Put your hands up… and then grab your sport shoes and head to the gym.

Seriously, forget about pubs and clubs and all those standard picky-uppy-places. Apparently the gym is where you need to be if you’re looking for a significant other.

Disclosure statement: The concept of picking up at the gym genuinely baffles me. I have been attending various gyms, on and off, for about seven years now and I have not once experienced a romantic encounter.

This is not surprising, considering that I’m at my most unattractive when doing any form of exercise. Think bright red face and limbs. Come at me, boys.

But it seems I’m in the minority, because recently I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about picking up at the gym. It makes sense, really. Men, women, minimal clothing, dance music – the place is like a nightclub, only with more stationary bicycles.

One friend picked up a bodybuilder while doing weights. Another friend asked a gentleman to help her with a machine, and ended up going for drinks with him later in the week. ANOTHER friend has spent weeks flirting with the trainer who teaches her cross fitness class – and although he hasn’t yet asked her on a date, she reckons it’s only a matter of time.

So there you go. If you’re single and ready to mingle, get yourself a gym membership.

And if the gym isn’t quite your type of thing, I’ve come up with an entire list of other ways to pick up while exercising:

Harness the power of the puppy.

1. A coastal walk. ANY coastal walk. I often do the one in Sydney that runs from Coogee to Bondi, and – judging by the amount of crop-topped women/shirtless men – I reckon 90% of the people walking along are single.

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The great thing about coastal walks is that there are often lots of handy places to stop and, you know, ‘chat’ while you retie your shoelaces. Also, you can bring a puppy. We all know about the power of a really cute puppy.

2. Team sports. A seriously excellent way to meet members of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that’s what you’re into). Also, there are approximately a billion team sports to choose from.

Touch footy, mixed netball, OzTag, underwater water polo – there is something there that is bound to suit even the most uncoordinated of us.

The great thing about team sports is that everyone is always super happy when you win. All that happiness and celebrating = great opportunity for a sneaky pash. Endorphins for the win, and all that.

3. Group fitness classes. There are entire companies who have dedicated themselves to holding classes that hook up single exercisers. One is called Fit2Date and they have only two requirements for classes: you have to be single, and you have to be fit. NO PRESSURE.

Basically, you can go kayaking in Sydney Harbour with a whole lot of other singles, or snow tripping, or hiking, and hopefully you’ll finish the day sipping champagne while gazing into a fellow kayaker/snowboarder/hiker’s eyes.

So. Hooking up while exercising. Good idea or bad idea?

I’m personally leaning towards bad idea. But when I exercise, I’m too busy thinking about my rapidly increasing blood pressure and how likely it is that I’m going to pass out. Also I need to concentrate on the treadmill so I don’t fall off. I can’t POSSIBLY add flirting pressure onto that.

Have you ever picked up at the gym, or while exercising? Good idea, bad idea?

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