Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love with your sweetheart, but there’s a better path to your honey’s heart than the one that runs through a box of chocolates.
This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $18.2 billion on Valentine’s Day, and about $1.7 billion of that will be spent on candy alone. Before you purchase some sweet treats for your Valentine, take a moment to consider making a gift of one of these heart-healthy, waistline-friendly options instead.
Make it long-lasting, even timeless.
Rather than a box of chocolates that will be emptied in a few days (or maybe even a few minutes), consider a gift your sweetheart will remember for years to come. Express your love in word or song. Put on your crafting hat and make a homemade Valentine. Gifts that require some thought are more meaningful and permanent than something that will be quickly consumed.
Make a memory.
Plan a date where you are able to spend quality time with your significant other. Go for a hike. Indulge your inner artist at a paint party. Attend a local cooking class. Do something adventurous — something you’ve never done before. Remember, your time and attention are among the most precious gifts you can give your loved ones.
Plan on dining in.
Why fight the crowds at local restaurants when you can plan a delicious and nutritious home-cooked meal for you and your better half? Cooking in your own kitchen gives you control over what goes into your meal as well as how much you eat. Click here for some healthy Valentine’s Day dinner ideas.
Show your love by giving back.
Spending time volunteering with your special someone can be a true bonding experience. Serving those in need has a way of revealing the heart’s true colors. And giving back to your community can also help boost your mood and lower stress.
Get moving together.
After dinner, take a long, romantic walk with your Valentine. Better yet, make a habit of exercising together regularly. The accountability provided by your partner can push you to achieve new goals. Besides, there’s nothing more motivating than knowing you’re taking care of your body not only for yourself but also for the ones you love. Aim to enjoy at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity together every week. That can be as little as 30 minutes each day for five days.
Deliver a fruit basket.
Do you typically send your beloved chocolates or a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day? This year, opt for a fresh fruit basket instead. A beautiful and edible arrangement of fruit is still plenty sweet but comes without all the sugars added to candy and chocolates.
This Valentine’s Day, be mindful and put some extra thought into how you can say “I Love You” the healthy way.