A Healthy Way to spend Valentine’s Day with a Loved One

This Valentine’s Day break the habits and “norms”, and instead of going out for the traditional date (to the cinema or for a meal with your loved one) why not try something a little bit different? After all, you want to be with your loved one, you want to have fun together, and – let’s face it – you want to some spicy romance too, right?!

Hot reasons to workout together

There are plenty of reasons why you and your partner should consider working out together this Valentine’s. The phrase “couples who train together stay together” couldn’t be more true, and here are 4 reasons why you should workout together this Valentine’s Day:

1. Make your partner fall in love with you all over again: According to Psychology Today working out together mimics romantic attraction; an increased heart rate, sweaty palms and a shortness of breath, which are the stereotypical signs you have when you fall in love with someone.

2. Enhance emotional connection: Again according to research in Psychology Today, working with your partner helps to solidify your emotional connection with them by creating ‘non-verbal matching’. Apparently, non-verbal matching helps people feel emotionally connected to each other without needing to communicate with words or have conversations. This really helps strengthen your relationship!

3. A partner is a great motivator: Having someone to workout out with, regardless if it is someone you are romantically attached to or not, is a great motivator to spur you on when things get tough. I am sure you will be less likely to walk those last hundred meters home if you are trying to impress someone!

4. Show what a great lover you will make: We are always told that being able to dance demonstrates how good of a lover you will be. Whilst it can be hard to see the truth in the statement, more so if you are a bad dancer yourself, running on the other hand will demonstrate that you are physically fit, have what it takes to get your heart rate up, and you have lots of stamina. All great traits to have in a lover!

Ideas for a running date

We often think running is a solitary workout, but it needn’t be; running can be a great workout in which to include someone else. Even if your partner is a seasoned marathon runner and you have never done a 5km run, you can still have a lot of fun together.

• A long steady run: Depending on both of your levels of experience and fitness, why not aim to run 6miles (10km) together. The average person takes around an hour to run 10km so this should provide ample time in which to develop that emotional connection further with your partner. If this is too long for one of you, then simply reduce the distance accordingly – it is about quality time together, not a competition or making one person feel exhausted and incapable or speech or movement afterwards! A good tip to practice when running with someone else is to talk the whole time; if you can hold a conversation then the pace is good. If you are struggling to speak then you need to drop the pace. This is a date after all so make sure you spend time interacting with your partner – slow and steady wins the romantic race…!

• Hill reps: Want to show off your slightly adventurous side in front of your partner – why not try hill repeats? Hill reps are exactly what they say like they will be: running up and down a hill. This is a form of a HIIT workout and will demonstrate a high degree of endurance, stamina and drive, which your partner will at the least respect and admire, if not find highly attractive.

• A mixture: Why not combine both? Better yet, don’t tell your partner and surprise them, while out running, with a catch-me-if-you-can sprint to the top. Depending on your respective fitness levels, you could even challenge your partners to a race to make things interesting and flirty between the two of you.

Start the day with a smoothie in bed

Before heading out on a run with your partner, surprise your partner with a tasty, energy-filled smoothie in bed before heading out. It is easy to make and will give you all the energy you need for getting sweaty with your partner.

Seeing as you are on a date, why not make a date smoothie? (Pun intended…!)

Ingredients

• 2 glasses of milk
• 8 dates, pitted
• 1 tbsp agave nectar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ avocado

Method

• Place all the ingredients in your blender and mix until fully blended.
• Pour into a a glass, drink and enjoy!

A healthy and romantic dinner for two

The date smoothie should give you enough fuel to workout on, however when you come back you are going to get hungry and you will need to replenish your muscles with good nutrition.

So make sure you take this opportunity to impress your date with your cooking skills too, by preparing a romantic and healthy meal for two with candles. Try this recipe for a chicken and sweet potato curry; the chicken will provide the much need protein to repair your muscles, and the sweet potato will replenish your body with good carbs.

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp of sunflower oil
• 2 tsp mild curry paste
• 2 tsp mild curry paste
• 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
• 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
• peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
• 4 tbsp red split lentils
• 300ml chicken stock
• 400ml can coconut milk
• 175g frozen peas

Method

• Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, stir in the curry paste and fry for 1 min. Add the chicken, sweet potatoes and lentils and stir to coat in the paste, then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
• Tip in the peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes. Season to taste before serving.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your fun, romantic and healthy Valentine’s Day now!