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Valentine's Day is all about sharing your heart with the people you love (no, that doesn't have to mean your significant other, it can be friends and family too), but it is also a good time to look after your heart and stay healthy. In fact, you can use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to make those all-important changes towards a healthier lifestyle.
The way to most people's heart is through their stomach, so I've compiled some ideas for heart healthy meals as well as some interesting ways to stay healthy this Valentine's Day.
Healthy Valentine's Day breakfast - Wake up that little bit early and surprise your partner or roommate with some whole-wheat pancakes cut in to heart shapes and top them with some strawberries. Who doesn't like to be shown how much they are loved as soon as they wake up?
Workout as a couple - Before you settle down for a romantic night in or before you go out for a romantic Valentine's Day meal, go for a workout. There are some great doubles activities that you can do, like tennis or squash, which can improve your cardiovascular fitness whilst helping your overall stamina levels. Also, a little bit of healthy competition is good and you will both appreciate the support.
Cook together - Rather than just trying to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible, try to put aside a little extra time to cook a healthy meal together. It gives you a chance to talk (without the TV being on), to get creative and try a new recipe together. You can find all the below recipes at my main site
Start off the evening with a tomato, red onion and balsamic salad with some homemade garlic bread to go along side of it. Buy some good quality wholemeal bread and combine some butter (don't use low fat spread as it is filled with additives) with garlic and a little salt and pepper. Spread it on the bread and put in the oven on a medium heat for 15 minutes.
For your main course, you can't go wrong with lasagne. My Roasted Vegetable Lasagne is always a winner and is a hit even with meat eaters. You don't need anything to go along side it, but if you wanted something extra, then a rocket and parmesan salad is a great combination.
Dessert - it is the best part of the meal, right? Some desserts can head close to 1000 calories and whilst that is totally okay once in a while, why not eat something that tastes just as good, but a whole lot healthier? My Chocolate Fudge Brownies tick both those boxes and no-one would ever know that they are a healthy version.
Try something different - If you are a bit more of an adventurous couple and your idea of fun is not a candlelit meal, then use Valentine's Day as a chance to embrace something different. Activities like rock climbing can make you feel alive and can start your journey towards a happier healthier life. Most venues are open in the evening, it is a great all over body workout and it is an experience that you can share together
With heart disease being such an issue for many people all over the world, it is time that we start making little changes to look after our hearts and bodies in general. Doing that is so much easier with the support of someone you love. So, this Valentine's Day, support your partner with their fitness goals, ask them for their support, spend the day doing a fun activity with your best friend or all get together and cook a healthy meal. Take a look to see if there are any fitness events over the Valentine's weekend that you can take part in together. Perhaps there is a local Valentine's 5km run? Stay healthy with the people you love!
We hope you've enjoyed Dannii's article. Remember, HealthExpress provide support and treatment options for common lifestyle concerns that are heavily associated with heart health, such as diabetes, asthma and obesity. Start your free online consultation with a registered doctor and be sure to check out the HealthExpress Facebook page for more daily health insights.