Valentine’s Day is a great time to celebrate love. It’s also a time to make healthy choices, not just on Valentine’s Day but also every day of your life. Think of these Valentine’s Day tips as a gift of health and wellness to you or someone you love.
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day on your own or with someone else, choose to be a healthy valentine. Here are a few Valentine’s Day Tips so they will be fresh in your mind.
Make A Date With Your Heart!
February is American Heart Month, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to start taking steps to be heart-healthy. Here are a few Valentine’s Day tips to get you started:
- Know your blood pressure and if it’s high, make control your goal.
- Control your cholesterol level. If it’s too high, take steps to lower it.
- Avoid getting diabetes. Diet can be an invaluable tool for controlling your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes, check for sores (especially on your feet) and vision changes.
- Fight the urge to smoke or use tobacco. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Limit alcohol use. Excessive alcohol use can lead to long-term health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
- Eat healthily and maintain a healthy weight.
- Be active. Keep moving! Don’t allow yourself to become a couch potato.
Think Healthy Food and Weight Control
Consider making a healthy meal for Valentine’s Day. Indulge, but don’t overindulge.
Everything you eat and drink matters. What and how much you eat and drink, along with regular physical activity, can help you manage your weight and lower your risk of disease.
Keep in mind that everyone has their own eating style. Within that parameter, however, you can make healthy choices that reflect your preferences, culture, traditions, and budget.
Just focus on a variety of foods, the quantity of food you eat, and the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
Choose fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods that give you the most nutrition and that meet your personal calorie needs. Here are some Valentine’s Day tips, which are useful to keep in mind for the whole year.
- Choose foods that are lower in salt, sugar, and saturated fat.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables from all five subgroups: dark leafy greens, red and orange fruits and vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), starchy vegetables, and other fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid processed foods (almost everything prepackaged, including meat, chicken, etc.). Manufacturers usually add sugars, sodium, and ingredients high in saturated fat to prepackaged foods and beverages.
- Make or buy fewer sugary sweets for an overall healthy Valentine’s Day.
Spread Love, Not Germs
Protect yourself from the cold and flu.
- Wash your hands often with warm water and regular soap. Just count to 20 each time you wash your hands. That equals about 20 seconds, the recommended amount of time for each handwashing. This lowers the risk of spreading germs and getting sick.
- Avoid close contact when you or someone you know is sick, or if unavoidable (e.g., taking care of an ill person), wear a surgical mask.
- Get your flu vaccine.
Have Safe Sex
A few sex-healthy Valentine Day’s tips that are useful year-round. These tips also help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies (and yes, if you haven’t gone through menopause, you can get pregnant).
- Abstain from sex if you don’t know the person’s medical background or suspect he or she is less than honest.
- Use latex condoms if you have sex. Doing so can lower the risk of some STIs and unintended pregnancy.
- Strive for a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
Don’t Wreck Your Vacation!
If you are going on a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, be prepared.
- Are vaccinations required?
- Are there special items such as sunscreen or insect repellent that you will need?
- If you take medications, do you have enough for the trip?
- If you’re going on a cruise, learn the sanitation inspection scores for specific ships. Cruise ships are required to have health and safety inspections twice a year to ensure adequate maintenance and sanitation. Know what’s happening en route or at your travel destination.
- Pack a traveler’s health kit, such as sunscreen, insect repellent, prescription medicines, and basic first-aid items.
- If driving, don’t allow yourself to become distracted. You can become distracted by any other activity (like looking at scenery or eating and drinking) that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase your chances of being involved in an auto crash.
- When driving long distances, take a break. Just taking a few minutes away from the road can help you clear your head so you can make better on-the-road driving decisions.
Go Easy on the Bubbly
If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Be mindful at all times of the amount of your intake – no more than one drink a day for women and up to two for men.
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions.
Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not drink any alcohol.
Are you considering a new, potentially risky, or unsafe activity?
If so, use appropriate safety gear, including seat belts, life vests, helmets, and knee and elbow pads to help prevent injury. This especially applies when indulging in active sports or riding a motorcycle or bike.
Watch the sparks
If you decide to cook a romantic dinner, light some candles, or have a cozy fire, don’t leave them unattended.
Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence, including intimate partner violence, than men.
Risk factors such as drinking alcohol and using drugs are associated with a higher likelihood of violence.
Consider that your Valentine may have allergies, asthma, diabetes, or other health conditions. You can be sensitive to your loved one by finding out if certain foods, flowers, pets, stuffed animals, or anything else might affect his or her health.
Being informed, getting support, and taking care of yourself can help you and those you care about have a delightful Valentine’s Day.
These Valentine’s Day tips are useful year-round, too!