We’ve got a crush on Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t like getting a little Hershey’s Kiss every now and then? And roses…bring them on! But over and above Cupid’s standard go-to’s, what we really love about Valentine’s Day is a chance to express our heart-felt emotions in a healthy, truly heart-filled way.
Here are our top 5 suggestions for celebrating a heart-healthy Valentine’s Day with your loved one.
- Go for a romantic stroll. Walking is an ideal form of exercise and a low-impact way to improve your cardiovascular system. But it’s also a great way to grow closer and strengthen a relationship – whether with a spouse or romantic partner or close friend or family member. Walking invites conversation and gives you focused, quiet time together, out in the fresh air. It can help clear the mind as well as clear the arteries. Treat your loved one to a Valentine’s walk, and count your steps as you count your blessings.
- Share a heart-healthy romantic dinner. Cooking together can be a spicy way to spend time with a loved one. Preparing a meal of lean fish or chicken, fresh colorful vegetables and fruits and whole grains are not only delicious, but great for your heart (as well as for your immune system and about every other aspect of health). Check out our House Calls magazines for lots of heart-healthy recipes to try.
- Work out together. All the benefits of item #1 are true for this one too, but working out together—whether at a gym, doing an indoor cycling class or training for a fun run—will ramp up your heart rate and help keep you motivated to make exercise a regular part of your schedule. Why settle for one date when you can have a weekly date?
- Massage! Ah, the ultimate indulgence. A Valentine’s gift of a massage goes beyond making your loved one feel pampered. Therapeutic massage can help with muscle recovery from item #3, can improve blood flow to the body’s tissues, reduce stress and enhance a sense of relaxed well-being.
- Make 1 – 4 part of your normal routine, not just a Valentine’s special. To be truly heart-healthy, make a commitment to your loved one to incorporate these four suggestions into your daily lives, or at least make them semi-routine and not just a February 14th Roses will wilt and a Hershey’s Kiss is gone in a minute but heart health is a gift that keeps on giving.