Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world in many countries. And it’s not only the “romantic” version of love that is celebrated. Love for family members, neighbors and friends is celebrated across the globe. So whether you have a partner or not, let’s look at some heart healthy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is for love – but not the way you think!

Although Valentine’s Day may be on different days around the world (including January, May, July and October), in many places the tradition did start off as a ‘romantic’ day. But many countries over the years have adopted a much broader definition of “the day of love”, turning to celebrate not only partners, but children, family members, friends and neighbors.

In places like Denmark, Estonia and throughout much of Latin America, Valentine’s Day has turned into something that more resembles Friendship Day. In honor of all the people we love, let’s discover some new ways to celebrate!

5 Heart healthy ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Wine and chocolate? Instead of the traditional overloading of wine and chocolate as a Valentine’s gift, think outside the box. While a small amount of either red wine or dark chocolate can be good for you, any more than that just isn’t heart healthy. Consider mixing some dark chocolate pieces with fruits and berries for an indulgent and decadent-feeling (but healthier) treat.

A home cooked meal. Instead of going out for a lovely (but likely heavy and unhealthy) meal, stay in and plan to cook a sumptuous dinner. Grilled salmon or chicken, lean cuts of meats, with spiced roasted vegetables will make anyone’s mouth water. And smart shopping won’t break the bank! Read here for more ideas: 7 Ways To Eat Heart Healthy On A Budget

Rethink how you gift. Just spending money doesn’t make a good or well-thought gift. For either a partner, friend or family member, consider gifting something that will contribute to health. Cooking or dance classes, art supplies (for creativity and stress-relief), home made gifts or even certificates for an outdoor or physical activity together are wonderful gifts that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Watch a funny movie. Studies have shown that people who share moments of laughter together, not only bond, but experience the release of stress. Laughter has also been shown to decrease both cholesterol and inflammation in the arteries.

Don’t forget self-care! If you’re far from family or friends on Valentine’s Day, check in with them via video call or phone call. Speaking with loved ones, whether romantic, or blood related or not, is a wonderful way to stay connected and share and feel the love.

Personal and indulgent self-care could be enjoying a bubble bath or a rejuvenating face mask or even a manicure! Take some time for yourself, with activities you truly enjoy.

Wrap Up

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers. It’s for spreading the love and appreciating the moments of love in your life. In moments both big and small, we can show love to those around us by making heart-smart choices as a way of celebrating life!

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