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It’s that time of the year again. New York City temperatures tick higher by the day, as the sun bathes us in her balmy, spirited rays once again.

And just as the elegant monarch butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, after weeks of rest and metamorphosis, so too must you and your main emerge from your heated apartments -- from your turtlenecks, your cardigans, your Ugg boots, and your curmudgeony wintertime dispositions to face the outdoors anew -- to beat your elegant, well-rested wings against the currents of the warm summer breeze.

Only one problem: You’re no butterfly. Not yet, you aren’t. Those “wings you’re beating” are probably better described as “love handles you’re jiggling”

Don’t get us wrong -- there’s no shame here. We New Yorkers have a penchant for hibernation. The isolation of winter makes us do weird things. Does the term, “Pizza Pork Bowl” mean anything to you? Just me? Cool.

The point is this -- it’s time for you and your special someone to start sculpting those bangin’ beach bods, lest you be mistaken for a pair of flour sacks in swimwear on your next beach outing.

How about some fun, active date ideas to get things going? Sun’s out, guns out, right?

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Stuff Your Face With the Right Stuff

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First things first -- you’re going to need ample energy to get active on a productive date with your better half. Eating healthy is the first step. Now, you may be thinking, “gross. That sounds terrible. I tried lettuce one time and it made me barf.”

You may be surprised to find that there’s more to healthy eating than force-feeding pieces of dry lettuce to yourself three times a day. You have options!

Learn to cook mouthwatering, healthy meals that won’t make you barf. On the contrary, you’ll feel satisfied and have all the energy you’ll need to get physical with your home skillet.

Institute of Culinary Education
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Catch a Wave and You’re Sittin’ On Top of the World

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surf lesson

What better way to get active in the sunshine than by shredding the nar nar with your special somebody? It certainly beats shredding each other’s self-esteem to bits in a heated argument over which one of you spilled something on the couch and didn’t wipe it up because now there’s a weird stain.

Catch a wave and hang ten instead! The only stains you’ll be worried about are sunburns.

Locals Surf School
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Stand Up for Your Right (to Paddleboard)

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Does surfing sound like a bit much to you? Maybe you like the idea of it -- all that stuff about water, sun, etc. You like the vibe, the shape of the board, and for years now, you’ve been dying to yell “cowabunga!’ in an appropriate setting.

BUT the whole “waves crashing down on you” thing doesn’t really do it for you. You’re a calm-water cadet. You prefer the feel of an oar in your hands to a swell beneath your feet -- a fun, active date with more paddling than plunging. Grab your sweetheart, grab a board, and burn those damn calories.

Rockaway Jet Ski
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It Takes Two to Zumba

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By now, you’ve realized that if you want that perfect beach bod, you’ll have to agree to exercise in one form or another. If not, take a deep breath, pick yourself up off the floor and say these words aloud: I AM A FUN, SEXY POWERHOUSE AND WHEN I HIT THE BEACH THIS SUMMER PEOPLE WILL TURN THEIR HEADS AND SAY ‘WOW, THAT’S AWESOME’, BECAUSE I WILL LOOK SO GOOD. BUT I ALSO REALIZE THAT IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL, I WILL NEED TO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE, EVEN IF I WOULD RATHER NOT DO THAT.

Feels good, right? Say it a few times. Make it your mantra.

Next, you’ll want to sign you and your partner up for a Zumba class. It’s inexpensive, easy to learn, and it’ll help you dance your way to a hot bod without feeling like a workout. Perfect for a fat-burning, highly active date. Trick yourselves into exercising. You might not despise it as much as you think.

Next Step Dance Studio
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Kick the Crap Out of Those Extra Pounds

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krav maga

Maybe Zumba’s not your thing. Maybe you and your boo need something a little more intense to get you energized about your fitness goals. Maybe you guys are looking to work through years of built-up anger and hostility by kicking the crap outta each other under the supervision of a trained professional.

Two words: Krav Maga.

You and your companion will learn the real-life self-defense techniques of Krav Maga, a hand-to-hand combat system, originally developed for the Israeli Defence Forces, while getting a vigorous cardiovascular workout.

Get fit. Get tough. And this way, if you catch someone talking trash about your bods at the beach, you and bae can pop him into a quick chokehold and fold him in half.

Krystek's School of Self-Defense
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If All Else Fails, Doctor the Photos

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Nobody’s perfect. Maybe you’ve been busy -- maybe you’ve fallen ill -- maybe you and your bae are just naturally unmotivated people and, try as you might, there’s little either of you can do to change it. You wanted those beach bods, but for whatever reason, you’ve failed to get physical. One option remains -- get digital.

Enroll in an expertly-crafted class on Adobe Photoshop and watch your mediocre beach pics transform into Sports Illustrated spreads at the click of a mouse.

If it’s good enough for Kim Kardashian, it’s good enough for you, dammit.

Learn Multimedia