Your beloved may whisper sweet nothings in your ear that make your heart flutter with joy, but the real key to your heart is through a healthy mix of physical, nutritional and emotional habits that will keep your ticker beating strong.
This Valentine’s Day go beyond the typical greeting card holiday traditions and indulge in your love with a wholehearted “hurrah” with these love-minded (and heart-minded) tips.
Making a fancy meal for your honey? Your feast can be heart touching and healthy.
- Eliminate trans-fat and limit the amount of saturated fat with lean proteins choices such as chicken or fish.
- Increase your omega-3’s to help reduce body inflammation, decrease triglycerides, blood pressure and blood clotting.
- Manage your salt intake by using herbs as a replacement which have anti-inflammatory perks.
- Keep your lousy cholesterol low (LDL) by eating garlic or an ounce of your favorite raw nuts and your healthy cholesterol high (HDL) by noshing on fiber-rich whole grains.
I see a candlelight dinner with nut-crusted, herbed fish and a side of whole wheat cous-cous mixed with veggies and garlic in your near future. Your blood pumping heart and your sweetheart will thank you for it.
Before you get all cuddly on the couch, strengthen your heart with some cardio. Cardiovascular activity helps your heart stay fit and is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease and decreased risk of a heart attack. Get your heart rate up in a lovey-dovey way.
- Before dinner, go tandem. Nothing screams love more than a bicycle ride for two. Wouldn’t that be a one-of-a-kind gift idea that definitely outdoes a heart shaped box of chocolates?
- Think of your pooch as an exercise machine with fur. No one can give unconditional love like your pup so keep your furry friend and your heart pumping at the same time with some joint exercise.
- Even better, go on a love walk with your dearest. After your V-Day dinner delights walk it off with a hand-held cruise around the block. (Maybe a little kissing in the trees…we won’t tell!)
- A little yoga can boost your heart health as its calming benefits can keep your blood pressure low. Partner up with your significant other with this eight-posture sequence from Fit Sugar that is sure to connect you in a heart healthy way.
- Have a heart-to-heart. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Keep the TV off and really focus on the love that is right in front of you through rewarding conversation about feelings and ogling eye contact. (Too much?)
- Don’t take things to heart. If you feel like you are taking things personally, take a breath and learn to let it go. Stressful emotions can be a burden on your hearts strong efforts.
- Keep your friends and family close and stay connected. Although this day is about you and your sweetie, make an effort to reach out to the other loved ones in your life. A heartfelt phone call has healing benefits for you and the person you are connecting with.
- Love like it is going out of style. Love makes you happier and healthier in the long run so if you have to tattoo hearts all over the place to prove it, then I guess I will let it slide!
Valentine’s Day emphasizes romantic love, the greatest love you can have is for yourself. February is National Heart Month and there is no better time to give your heart some extra TLC by assessing your risk of heart disease during this heart-centered month. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number 1 killer of women. Start those heart healthy habits now with the help of cardiologist Suzanne Steinbaum of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York who shares her suggestions on monitoring your own heart health and knowing your numbers.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
Feature photo courtesy of wgroesel via stock.xchng
Photo 2 courtesy of digitalart via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
LOVE the 3 pronged approach with the nutrition, movement, and mindwork! I personally have my sweet dogs to thank for keeping my heart in good shape – rain or shine, they gotta get their 2 walks a day!
A dog is such a great companion and a great workout partner!