Valentine's day has long been known as a day of indulgence, but as the world turns to healthy living, choosing fun but beneficial treats and activities to celebrate the day is key. Health professionals caution against too much sugar and alcohol, which are somewhat synonymous with this day’s celebration of love. The good news is, with moderation and careful planning, these warnings don’t have to impact your Valentine’s Day festivities! Try these tips to show your affection in deeper levels by nurturing the health of your significant other’s heart.
CONSIDER ADDING A GIFT OF FRUIT
Chocolate is made from cocoa, which has flavonoids and is thus an antioxidant. Antioxidants are generally good for the heart because they increase the amount of good cholesterol in the blood stream while also helping to lower the level of bad cholesterol. The general concern regarding consumption of chocolates is related to its quantity since it can be addictive. Excessive consumption leads to superfluous calories and can potentially cause cavities. To counter this, you can indulge in chocolate dipped strawberries. They make a beautiful, impressive display and are rich in antioxidants, while also being tasty. This tasty confection is not only delicious but romantic, too. Use them to spice up your time with your loved one this Valentine's Day and nourish their heart while at it.
PLAN AN OUTTING TOGETHER
Depending on the interests of your loved one, you can plan a trip to their favorite place. It doesn’t even have to be too far away from your home. Road trips are not only a chance to spend more time together as a couple but also to enjoy the finer things in life away from your couch. If you are outdoorsy people, consider a hike with a picnic at the end to reassure each other of your commitment on this day.
HUMOR IS GOOD FOR THE HEART, TOO
Like love, humor is also good for the heart. Your loved one’s heart is probably already in pretty good shape because of the amorous feelings the two of you share. On Valentine’s Day however, try giving a thoughtful card to share your commitment and a humorous card to promote a little chuckle. The idea is to get your loved one laughing as part of your gift to the heart.
ENJOY A CANDLELIGHT DINNER AT HOME
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. Forgo the crowds and unknown calories when dining out and enjoy some time together in the kitchen preparing a favorite meal. But this time, give it a heart healthy makeover! Instead of frying, try broiling, baking or grilling. Use fresh or frozen vegetables in place of canned. Avoid preservatives and use fresh ingredients when possible. And for dessert, create a dark chocolate mousse with berries, or baked cinnamon apples with a little frozen yogurt. Or even make your own sorbet.
DRINK IN MODERATION
Savor a glass of wine or 2 with dinner to toast your affection, but keep it at that. Drinking in moderation can raise your good cholesterol level, help promote less inflammation, and it can even work as a coagulant, which causes less clotting. But, too much alcohol can cause a weakened heart or an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. Drinking in excess can also cause high blood pressure, stroke or liver disease.
CREATE A HOMEMADE CARD OR GIFT
Remember, “It’s the thought that counts.” Don’t add stress to your wallet and make a special homemade gift for your significant other. A small photo album with your favorite memories together, or a mason jar filled with their favorite treat. Add some ribbon and a handmade card and you’re good to go! Just use your creativity, or Pinterest for inspiration, and produce a special gift that tells them you not only put a lot of thought into their gift, but personal labor as well.
Loving someone should involve nurturing their heart, physically and otherwise. Urgent Clinics Medical Care wishes you and your loved ones a wonderful and happy Valentine’s Day and we are here to help you maintain a healthy heart. We offer free blood pressure screenings. Elevated blood pressure can be an indicator of underlying heart disease. Our clinics are open from 8 am to 9 pm and are conveniently located in Champions Forest, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Our Pearland Clinic is open 8 am to midnight.