How to Use February to Treat Your Heart Well with Fit Meals and Taking Time to De-Stress
Valentine’s Day is about giving love and being loved; it’s about the people in your life who uplift you, support you, and are always there for you. Although we celebrate the holiday commercially on Feb. 14th, love can be celebrated, given and received 365 days/year — even without heart shaped boxes of chocolates being delivered to your cubicle by a secret admirer.
Not by coincidence, February is also American Heart Month, raising peak awareness for how to take care of your heart so it can stay healthy and keep your body on point for a long and vibrant life. I think it’s fitting that we celebrate both the emotional and physical properties of the heart together in one month, as a reminder of how closely they are intertwined on a daily basis.
In the spirit of the holiday awareness month, I am sharing some fun and empowering heart healthy tips for celebrating Valentine’s for you:
Do What You Want To!
You have the opportunity to enjoy doing things when and how you want to – just because you can. So February can be a great month to accomplish some of your bucket list items as an act of self-love. In fact, accomplishing a goal is one of the best ways we show ourselves love; when we do something challenging or out of our comfort zone, we intentionally create a sense of purpose and self-worth. Essentially we tell ourselves that we are important enough to do the things that matter to us.
Heart-Helping Hint: Whether it’s taking a rock-climbing class, visiting a museum, taking a cooking course, dedicating an hour/week to work on the book you have always wanted to write, or something as small as eating a nutritious snack instead of your normal candy bar at the office, doing something good for your soul is good for your body — and will make you feel good about who you are as a person.
Show Some Love to Your Heart
A big part of being able to love others is being able to love yourself, and nothing will make you feel better about your health or the skin you’re in, than physical exercise. Not only will you feel good about your proactivity in taking control of your heart and health, but you will also have fun bonding with your girl-friend as you both build more confidence and feel empowered because you took on something new (both qualities that are valuable and attractive in any relationship).
Heart-Helping Hint: Make it a point to try a new fitness activity — that is not part of your normal routine – along with a friend during the month of February. Here are some ideas for new activities:
- Take a Zumba class at your rec center (usually much less expensive than the gym)
- Try a beginner yoga class once or twice/week for flexibility and relaxation
- Swim laps at the rec center pool for a full body, low-intensity exercise
- Use the clubhouse treadmill at your apartment complex to walk twenty minutes every day
Cook With Love With Your Friends
A sisterhood of friendship that has been shared through the highs and lows of life deserves to be celebrated in a special way.
Heart-Helping Hint: Why not honor your unique Sex and the City, girls’ night-in bond, by preparing a home-cooked dinner for your inner circle and verbally acknowledge their role in your life, as a memorable way to kick off the month of all things “heart”? Make a nutritious and delicious dinner as an act of heart-healthy — and heartfelt! — love for those closest to you, showing them how much you appreciate their support in your life.
Pamper, Pamper Pamper
Taking time to recognize your hard work, decompress and reconnect with yourself will help you feel re-energized, relaxed and more generous with your love for others.
Heart-Helping Hint: Pampering doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be something as simple as using an organic sugar scrub in the shower, followed by a rich coconut oil-based lotion to make your skin feel great! Putting a little pamper in your step, is a great self-reminder that you are worthy of receiving love from family and friends, while helping you feel great in your skin. Make sure to carve out “me” time to pamper yourself during this month-long celebration of love. You’ll be glad you did.
These four pointers can make a big impact in feeling good about your health, the people in your life, and the love that you give and receive. February may be the recognized month to celebrate the heart, but sharp women know that the heart is at the center of an empowered, confident, strong, loved and loving spirit every day of the year!
So celebrate Valentine’s Day all year long by taking care of your heart and the hearts of those close to you both physically and emotionally, and your heart will take care of you for a long and happy life!8