February is heart health month, and the timing couldn’t be better. In the darkest and often coldest part of winter, we want nothing more to come home and hibernate with a big bowl of our favourite comfort food. Inactivity and rich foods are not helpful for our heart; however, with Valentine’s Day falling smack in the middle of the month, it’s easy to add decadent chocolates and expensive dinners to this month’s blues. At Christmas time, we encouraged putting more emphasis on giving ‘presence’ to your family and loved ones, and perhaps a little less on the ‘presents’. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be any different. Here’s some great ideas for quality time with your sweetie or loved one that builds in a little activity as well!
1. Take your loved one(s) skating
Whether this be an indoor or outdoor rink, you will find your “feel good” endorphins pumping and burn off some energy! One of my favourite spots is the skating oval at Victoria Park – they have built new trails that you can skate on throughout the park.
2. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
Especially if you have never done this before! Trying something new together is a guarantee for some laughs.
3. Go back to your childhood and build a blanket/pillow fort together
Cuddle up inside and watch a movie in the privacy of your own castle.
4. Take a couple’s yoga class
Help each other relax after a long, stressful week.
5. Take a couple’s cooking class
Build your kitchen skills so you can make your own swanky dinner (you get to take the extra food home too!).
6. Volunteer together
Local charities are always looking for volunteers and nothing feels as good as giving back to your community.
If you choose to stay in and celebrate at home, cook your meal together! Your meal can be as simple or creative as you like. Here are some meal ideas to get you started:
- Red-themed meal(s) are an excellent way to tie in this romantic day with food. Use colourful, fresh foods to create your dish. Try incorporating red bell peppers, tomato sauces or beets for breakfast, lunch of dinner, and strawberries or raspberries for dessert.
- Curry Salmon and Coconut Rice with Roasted Broccoli
- Grilled Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Mixed Green Salad with Strawberries
- Linguine with Shrimp and Sun-dried Tomatoes served with green beans and almonds
- French Toast with Greek Yogurt and Cranberry Drizzle
- Surf & Turf Shrimp and Beef Tenderloin served on a bed of couscous with a side of steamed asparagus
Our heart is arguably the most important muscle we have. Taking care of our body will allow us to better love our family and friends. Valentine’s Day can be more about spending time with your loved ones and less about the price tag or the sweets. There are plenty of ways to do this while being active and creative!
How do you take care of your heart? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below. 🙂