A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

SmartHealthToday: Happy Valentine’s Day coming up, some tips on showing how much you really care

By Shelly Reese

This Valentine’s Day, show your partner you really care by looking out for his or her health.
Here are some ideas straight from Cupid himself:

Ditch the candy and roses. Try sending a sumptuous fruit bouquet instead. It’s sweet and beautiful and – because your sweetie won’t feel guilty about indulging – much less likely to end up next to the coffeepot at work.

Photo from FruitBouquets.com

Think red. We all associate red with Valentine’s Day, but red foods also offer a host of nutritional benefits. Planning a romantic dinner for two? Try incorporating strawberries, radicchio, tomatoes, red bell peppers and red onions – okay, you might want to skip the red onions – into the meal. They all contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber, which are important to a healthy cardiovascular system. And, red wine and dark chocolate make the perfect nightcap.

Sign up for dance class. A recent study found older Latinos were able to walk a faster quarter mile after four months of Latin dance classes. In addition, dancing is good for your brain, improving your mood and certain cognitive skills. What better reason for to tango for two.

Make a creative date. Sign up to do something creative together. Whether it’s a heart-healthy cooking class or an art class, you’ll spend precious time together and learn a new skill. Life-long learning and social engagement are essential to a healthy lifestyle.

Give by giving back. Volunteer together. It feels good, brings you closer together, and research shows it’s good for you. Volunteering gives you “that internal, deep down satisfaction of knowing you’ve made a difference,” says Jenelen Dulemba, director of volunteer services at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “That’s the paycheck of volunteering.”

SmartHealthToday is a service of St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

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