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Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2017

By Benefits Team/American Heart Association

From intimate meals to decadent desserts, couples across the globe will be celebrating romance this February 14th. Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day remains one of the biggest restaurant nights of the year – one that often involves heavy dinners. But with a few tips and some planning, you can get through the big night without adding inches to your waistline.

Here are the American Heart Association’s top 10 tips:

  1. Consider a gift that has more permanence than chocolate or flowers. Search for a poem that describes your feelings and write it on beautiful paper for a handmade Valentine.

  2. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Bundle up and plan an active outing such as sledding, ice skating, gathering wood for a fire, or if you’re feeling adventurous, visit an indoor rock wall.

  3. If your children are having a Valentine’s Day party at their school or day care, instead of sending candies, consider mini-boxes of raisins, mini-bags of pretzels, pencils or stickers as tokens of their friendly affection.

  4. Cooking at home is an excellent way to control the quality and amounts of what you eat. Take your date to a local cooking class to practice your skills or learn a new technique.

  5. Prepare a romantic candlelit dinner at home using one of our

    .

  6. If you go to a restaurant to celebrate, check out our heart-healthy tips for dining out.

  7. Give to one another by giving back. Ask your date to volunteer with you at a local charity. Giving back is a healthy habit that will boost your mood and beat stress.

  8. Visit

    for gift ideas that benefit the American Heart Association.

  9. Use this day as an opportunity to tell your loved one how you feel about him or her, and share ways that you can support each other’s health and wellness. Get started by taking the My Life Check (mylifecheck.heart.org).

  10. Still craving something sweet? Send a fruit basket to your loved one that has natural sugar as well as healthy nutrients instead of sending sweets with added sugars.

Click

to see even more tips