The 14th of February marks one of the most romantic days of the year, Valentine’s Day. It is an opportunity to show your partner just how much you truly care. Of course, this is often done through decadent meals, rich desserts, and huge boxes of chocolates. In fact, 58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased the week of Valentine’s Day, according to marketresearch.com.1 Stewart, Caitlin. “Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Trends and Statistics.” Marketresearch.com. 10 February 2016. Accessed 24 January 2017. http://blog.marketresearch.com/valentines-day-spending-trends-and-statistics-infographic.
But it doesn’t have to be an eating fest for you. There are plenty of creative, healthy options for romance that won’t send you into a sugar coma. Actually, some of them might even contribute to your weekly exercise goals. So read on to get 10 ideas for alternative ways to celebrate this Valentine’s Day that may suit your more balanced lifestyle.
1. Go Dancing
Rather than basing your evening around a big meal, use your time for a night out dancing. What might have been a common activity for you when you were single and looking to mingle may have petered out as you got more involved with your mate. But going together and dancing up a storm can be fun, sexy, and help you burn roughly 238 calories an hour, so stay at the club a while! Oh, and don’t use the lack of a big meal as an excuse for heavy drinking while out dancing. That kind of negates the health benefits of dancing.
2. Express Your Love
Put your skills to use and demonstrate your love for your significant other through art. If you’re handy with words, write a poem or a love story that shows your true feelings. Or leave romantic forget-me-not notes around the house, car, and any bag or briefcase that goes to work. More hands-on types could create a painting, sculpture, or drawing as an extra special gift. Those with a flare for music can write a song or a beautiful melody and debut it on Valentine’s Day.
3. Devise a Scavenger Hunt
Leave a note on the table with a clue leading to the next one. You can use riddles, anagrams, pictures cut into puzzles, or memories that are linked to a specific spot or item in your home to lead the way. At the end, the treasure can be a sexy undergarment or a coupon for a massage—you know, the kinds of things Nicolas Cage was searching for in National Treasure.
4. Enjoy a Nature Hike
Spending quality time with your love is a gift in itself. When you can do that with beautiful scenery as a backdrop, admiring nature, it’s even better. As an added bonus, you’ll increase your heart rate as you walk along for a great cardiovascular workout. Or if it’s cold outside with snow on the ground, you can bundle up and take a thermos of hot cocoa with you as you head out together to bathe in the brilliant starlight of a winter’s night sky.
5. Turn Your Home into a Spa
What’s more relaxing than a spa day? Not much. You can whisk away the stress of the week with your partner by your side. Turn on some soft instrumental music, lower the lights, and use massage oil to gently work out your partner’s knots. Lavender is good for relaxation, while eucalyptus provides invigoration. Then soak your cares away in the healing waters of the spa.
6. Have Sex
The ultimate romantic activity for a Valentine’s Day celebration; there’s nothing wrong with planning your night around some steamy lovemaking. And this most intimate of activities will help you burn up to about 200 calories in a half hour, especially if it’s vigorous and results in orgasm—or 33 calories if you’re in a hurry.
7. Plan a Getaway
If you can take a couple of days off from work—or you’re willing to celebrate Valentine’s Day early over the weekend—plan a romantic night away. A cozy ski lodge or little country inn could be ideal, but if that’s not possible even a hotel close to home can offer a change of scenery that will spark the mood for romance.
8. Take a Spin on the Ice
You may not have been ice skating since you were a kid, but it can be an awfully nice activity with your significant other. If there’s no pretty outdoor rink nearby, most major cities have an indoor rink that will do just fine. Lace up those skates, take your partner’s hand, and start circling the ice. Try to lean slightly forward to avoid those backward falls, but even if you go down, it’s all part of the fun. And you’ll expend close to 600 calories if you skate for an hour.
9. Wear Your Heart on Your Plate
Since you will have to eat at some point, instead of relying on high-calorie restaurant fare make a special meal at home. You can dine nutritiously but keep in the spirit of the holiday by cutting whole grain pancakes and strawberry slices into heart shapes for breakfast. Or if you’re really craving some chocolate, serve a healthy dinner then offer up a fondue with melted dark chocolate and berries and banana slices for dipping.
10. Make Bathing Fun
If you’ve got a tub big enough for two, this is an ideal night to make some use of it. It may not be quite a spa experience, but if you dim the lights and place a couple of candles around the room, it will work just fine. Scented bath oils can add to the atmosphere. Consider a sweet floral scent like jasmine or something more exotic such as sandalwood to set the mood.
And there’s one huge advantage to all of these options, in addition to their being healthier than a huge dinner out, they’re likely to be far more memorable down the road–as opposed to “Where did we eat last year?”
|↑1||Stewart, Caitlin. “Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Trends and Statistics.” Marketresearch.com. 10 February 2016. Accessed 24 January 2017. http://blog.marketresearch.com/valentines-day-spending-trends-and-statistics-infographic.|