Healthy Valentine's Day

Healthy Valentine\'s Day

Valentine\’s Day is approaching and many of us are reviewing our options. How can we show that special someone how much we care? Why not make an active decision that takes fitness to heart.

Valentine’s Day is approaching and many of us are reviewing our options. How can we show that special someone how much we care? Why not make an active decision that takes fitness to heart.

While chocolates and a candlelit dinner can still be an essential part of the plan, you can show you care with a day filled with activities to enjoy together.

Plan the Day

It may take some time and a little planning, but that special someone will appreciate the effort you’ve put in to make his or her health and fitness your priority. Plan activities, perhaps a special event such as a Valentine’s Day run or walk, that you can enjoy as a couple.

Start Off on the Right Foot

Morning activities can begin with a scheduled workout session. (Guys, try to remember the flowers.) Sign up at a nearby gym for something fun such as boxing lessons. Ladies will enjoy the fitness and self-defence component while the guys will enjoy the primal element: learning the finer points of hitting something.

Boxing’s benefits go far beyond learning how to pack a powerful punch. Boxing provides a 20-percent hit of cardiovascular conditioning with the remaining 80 percent anaerobic endurance–the main catalyst for burning fat. Most boxing classes begin with warm-ups that involve skipping rope, which burns from 10 to 15 calories per minute.

Follow Up with Some Hip-Hop

After a healthy lunch at your favourite nosh spot, mark your midday with a dancing lesson. As you may be aware, dancing has become the new aerobics. Not only will couples come away from a dance class with a better idea of how to avoid stepping on each other’s feet, but they will also work together toward a healthy heart.

Modern dancing can burn four to six calories per minute, while other styles such as ballroom, waltz, rumba, and square dancing can burn five to seven calories per minute. If you spent 45 minutes dancing during a one-hour class, you could waltz away up to 315 calories each.

Giving your Valentine the gift of fitness, togetherness, and good health will ensure that you both enjoy a happy Valentine’s Day!

Close-to-Home Alternative

If you’d prefer to spend the day focused on each other with no distractions, take a long walk in your favourite outdoor setting and finish off with an at-home exercise routine.

Couples can perform these exercises facing each other to ensure proper form is maintained.

Prisoner Squats

  • Place hands behind head with both feet shoulder-width apart, feet pointing straight ahead.
  • Slowly begin to squat down, bending knees and flexing your hips while allowing glutes to “stick” out behind body.
  • Keep chest up at all times and put pressure through the heels. Squat 3/4 of the way down to thighs parallel with the floor.
  • To rise back up, contract glutes and place pressure through the heels as knees are extended. Stand up straight until hips and legs are fully extended.

Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lift

  • With one hand on hip, balance on the same leg with knee slightly flexed and aligned over second and third toes.
  • Keep “floating” leg directly beside body, slowly bend over at the waist, maintaining slightly flexed knee, reaching with free hand toward stabilizing foot.
  • Reaching with free hand toward stabilizing foot, lower body until a slight stretch is achieved; then squeeze glutes and stand back upright until hips and legs are fully extended.

Front Lunge

  • Begin with hands on hips and both feet shoulder-width apart. Lunge forward, landing on the heel of the lunge foot with the front foot pointing straight ahead with knee over second and third toes.
  • Knees should now be bent 90 degrees; front foot should be flat on the ground and back foot should have the heel lifted off the ground. From this position, drive off front foot (heel first) onto back leg.
  • Stand back up to balanced position on both legs.
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