By Lissa Morales
It was a 19th-century candy scion, Richard Cadbury, who first convinced lovers that chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand-in-hand. But today, we know that sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, and kidney disease. And there’s mounting evidence that suggests sugar can be as addictive as drugs. So let’s start a new tradition! This February 14th, show your loved one how much you really care by thinking outside the box of chocolates. Here are five creative ways to have a healthier Valentine’s Day.
1. Make a Romantic Meal at Home
Try these Recipes at Home
- EatingWell: Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes
- Cooking Light: Celebrate Valentine’s Day
- Diabetic Living: Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas
- Jamie Oliver: Romantic Meals
- Greatist: 13 Valentine’s Day Recipes That Beat a Box of Chocolates
Valentine’s Day is arguably the busiest day for restaurants. Save yourself the stress of struggling to find a reservation, fighting for a parking space, and shouting over the cacophony of voices. Nothing says romance like a home-cooked meal. Even better if you do it together! Maybe you’ll be inspired to take cooking classes as a couple!
2. PLay Together
Ideas for Fun Dates
Instead of sitting in a movie theater and eating a tub of popcorn, why not get moving? There are myriad indoor and outdoor activities for couples: plan a salsa dancing lesson, a sunset hike, a bike ride, or challenge him to a game of miniature golf. After all, being physically active is the key to a healthier heart and a longer life together.
3. Treat Each Other to a Massage
How to Give the Perfect Massage
- LIVESTRONG: How to Give a Deep Tissue Massage
- Howcast: How to Give a Shiatsu Massage
- WebMD: How to Give the Most Spectacular Foot Massage Ever
Nothing is more intimate than a good massage. Plus, you’re helping to reduce your partner’s anxiety, stress, and muscle tension. Whether you do a deep tissue massage, shiatsu massage, or a foot rub, it’s the perfect way to unwind at the end of the night and show your love and appreciation.
4. Talk About How You Feel
Emotional and mental health are equally as important as physical health. Learning how to express yourself strengthens your relationship and reduces the likelihood of acquiring stress-related problems. So tell your loved one how you feel about them. Instead of browsing through cards, set aside some time to put down personal words. It will give them a serotonin boost, and make you feel good too.
5. Make a Plan Together
If you've already strayed from your New Year's resolutions, it's not too late to get back on track. Seize this day to talk about your future plans and dreams, including your health goals. When you support each other through your mutual goals, you strengthen your bonds in a meaningful way.