February is American Heart Month! And since we’re all about sharing the love through health, here are some passionate ways to care for your heart on the holiday most popular for sharing it, Valentine’s Day.
Cook a Wholesome Meal Together
Going out to eat is a popular date idea, but restaurant meals are high in fats, sugars, sodiums, and other less-than-desirable ingredients not so great for the heart.
Instead of going out, choose a great heart-healthy recipe to cook at home together. Think of a dish you both love and search for a healthier version of it online. You’ll create something delicious together and can turn it into a quiet, romantic candlelit dinner for two.
Plan an Active Date
Love your heart by giving it a workout this Valentine’s Day.
If a movie date or other relaxing activity is planned, schedule something movement-related earlier in the day. Staying fit together helps you bond and boost your endorphins, which is never a bad thing.
Talk a long walk together and talk about the future (or silly things), go for a hike, bike ride, or run, take the dogs for a walk, go to the gym, an indoor rock wall, or take a class together like yoga, cycling, Zumba or crossfit.
You can also make your whole date active:
- Walk around a theme park
- Go to the zoo
- Visit a museum
- Head to a farmer’s market (great place to get produce for that healthy, romantic dinner)
- Go out dancing, or be kids again at the local roller skating rink
- Volunteer at a local organization you both care about
Give a Non-Sweets Gift
A $5 box of chocolates is overrated anyway. Go for a more meaningful gift this year. Some ideas include:
- A heartfelt poem (write it yourself or find one that describes your feelings) or a handwritten note
- Choosing something your valentine loves to do and doing it together, or starting a conversation about a topic they care about
- Handmade gifts like a homemade scavenger hunt, a time capsule of your relationship, a picture frame with the best picture of you together
- A healthy breakfast in bed
- Doing a chore for them they usually handle
- Planning a short getaway for uninterrupted time together
Get creative and think about what you can give that holds a lot of meaning for your valentine and your relationship.
Spend Quality Time Together
Health isn’t all about diet and exercise; personal relationships matter, too. That’s why Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to spend important time with your partner or other people you love—so make that the priority.
Love Your Heart Year Round
Use this month as a reminder to do things that are heart-smart like check your blood pressure regularly, quit smoking, don’t drink excessively, do exercise you enjoy, and eat heart-healthy foods. The people who love you will want you around for many years to come, and good heart-health is the best place to start.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day in a romantic relationship or just with people you love, it’s a perfect yearly reminder to nourish your relationships and protect the metaphorical symbol of love: your heart!