While flowers and chocolates may be the most traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, experts say that giving the gift of heart health can not only brighten your loved one’s day but keep that spark alive all year long for both of you.
Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women, killing more than 610,000 people every year.
Here are 6 ways to give the gift of a healthy heart:
Exercise is one of the most important things we can do to improve our overall health. Living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity, which leads to diabetes, high blood pressure and ultimately puts us at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Try working out three times each week and aim for 150 minutes total time each week.
We spend far too much time connected to electronic devices and far too little time connected with our loved ones. Too much screen time is associated with less quality sleep and sleep deprivation can put you at risk for heart disease. Spend quality time together without cell phones or tablets.
Have a heart-to-heart conversation and set aside a time each and every day to make this happen.
Joining a cooking class is a great way to spend a romantic evening. Along with exercise, diet plays a huge role in how we look and feel. Taking a cooking class to learn healthier ways to prepare favorite foods is a wonderful way to bond as a couple and learn new skills that you can share at home.
Smoking remains the number one preventable cause of death today. Smoking puts you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, vascular disease and lung cancer — not to mention it makes your breath and clothes smell terrible.
Dancing is a great aerobic activity and a surefire way to rekindle the romance in your love life. After a dinner out, head to the nearest dance club or studio to have loads of fun and burn off the evening’s calories and reducing stress.
Stress is directly associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Stress also increases your blood pressure and heart rate. Taking a series of yoga or mindfulness meditation classes can teach you stress-busting skills. Stress activates the brain to tell the body to release hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol which can put extra strain on the heart.
Learn to be mindful of the small things that make you smile. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an appreciation for your heart and make a commitment to keep your heart healthy.