Heart Healthy Valentine Gift Guide
Heart Healthy Valentine Gift Guide
By: Becky Rolland
Looking for something fun and exciting to do with that special person in your life on Valentine’s Day? This Valentine’s Day, why not give a gift with some heart!
At Senior Living, we want you to live a healthy, active and productive life. If you are reading this magazine, you are interested in improving with age, looking good and feeling great. So here are our suggestions for bringing in 2017 by celebrating two great things about February – Valentine’s Day and American Hearth Month!
- Instead of chocolates why not a fruit gift basket? Start this Valentine’s Day by making healthy choices and including a variety of fruits like, kiwi, banana, berries, avocado and vegetables in your diet to maximize the heart health benefits.
- Buy your sweetie a book on health and fitness, exercise, motivation, diet or healthy meal plans to show you care.
- If your honey is already active, giving a gift of sports clothing or a fitbit will always be appreciated. If not, a gift certificate to a group exercise class, such as cycling, pilates or yoga will get your loved one started on the right path.
- And for a thoughtful but inexpensive gift that will be a daily reminder of your love, get him or her a personalized or monogrammed BPA and lead free water bottle.
FUN VALENTINE DATES
- Plan a walking date to your favorite park, zoo or botanical garden.
- When making dinner reservations, opt for seafood. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found that even just eating 1 to 2 servings of fish a week reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 36 percent, and overall death by 17 percent. Consuming at least 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day, the equivalent of 6 ounces a week of wild salmon or other oily fish, is a great way to prevent heart disease.
- Schedule a couple massage. Receiving a massage together in the same room allows two people to completely relax and release personal or mutual stresses. Because of the relaxing spa setting, couples can unwind in this safe haven and enjoy renewal together
- Go to a wine tasting event. Red wine is good for the heart because it has a rich source of antioxidants or flavonoid phenolics. Flavonoids help prevent blood clots and plaque formation in arteries and resveratrol (found in grape skins and seeds), increases your HDL cholesterol and prevents blood clotting.
- Instead of eating out, why not cook a healthy meal for your sweetie complete with candles. If you both enjoy cooking, you could even cook a meal together!
- Check out improv or comedy theater for a good laugh. We change physiologically when we laugh because we stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure goes up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. So not only is laughter good for your health it also helps to burn calories. A study by Vanderbilt University revealed that a mere 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories.
A HEALTHY TWIST ON THE USUAL SUSPECTS
- Sending hand-picked flowers will take your message of love to a higher level. Although red roses, symbolizing love, beauty, courage, and respect are the most popular flower sent during Valentine’s Day, but there are other flowers that also carry a message. Carnations say that your love has your heart, a sprig of forget-me-nots indicate true love and tulips signify perfect love. These are just a few of the variety of available flowers, each with its own special meaning. Take the time to discuss your message with your florist or hand pick your own to give your bouquet a special touch.
- Who can forget chocolate! Chocolate still makes the list but the darker the better! Dark Chocolate with 70-85% if cocoa not only contains soluble fiber and minerals, it also is a powerful source of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. Other benefits of dark chocolate include: improving blood flow and blood pressure, lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease, protecting your skin against the sun and improving your brain function!
Another great place to find creative things to do is Pelican Athletic Club, in Mandeville. PAC really takes care of their seniors with signature classes, such as Gentle Yoga, low-impact Circuit Training, and Aqua Fitness to Young Energetic Seniors from 60 years of age and up. They also host events as well as excursions. Whether it’s by day or overnight from a Natchez Riverboat Cruise to a Day of Relaxation Pac is a sure fire way to spice up your Valentine’s Day this Feb 14th.
For a list of things offered by PAC visit their website: http://www.thepac.com/seniors