Living LifeWise: Valentine’s Day, The Healthier Way

Living Lifewise Wednesday, February 11, 2015 Written by

Living LifeWise is a regular column provided by LifeWise Ambassadors — LifeWise employees whose healthy choices are helping them live better lives. Today’s column is provided by LifeWise Ambassador Whitney Haggerson.

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. For many, it means a dozen overpriced roses, some generic calorie-laden chocolates and dinner at an overcrowded restaurant. Don’t get me wrong — I like Valentine’s Day — but none of those things really scream “LOVE” to me.

I much prefer “just because” flowers (although I’d never turn away red roses … hint, hint, husband). And because I’ve been so good about eating well and working out since my recent juice cleanse, a fancy, high-calorie dinner doesn’t fit on my healthy Valentine’s Day menu anymore.

I’ve never been one to skip a celebration, but this year I’m re-thinking Valentine’s Day with these guilt-free ways to say I love you:

Portland shamrock run with @jbronkhorst and #LifeWise

A photo posted by Whitney Haggerson (@whaggerson) on

A gift that keeps on giving

It only takes about a week, after that box of chocolates has been picked over and those once-beautiful red roses are looking kind of rough, to begin to question the staple V-day gift options. Instead of dealing with that emotional boomerang, try something you’ll feel proud of right away, like investing in his and hers running shoes and/or paying the race fees for the upcoming Heart Breaker Half Marathon in Portland or the Love ’Em or Leave ’Em Valentine’s Day Dash in Seattle. Is your honey more of a foodie than a runner? Then check out a healthy cooking class and learn the skills you need to prepare nutritious meals year-round.

healthy Valentine's DayLove don’t cost a thing

Still feeling the pinch on your wallet after the December holidays? Not all great gifts cost money. A lot of gyms are allowing you to bring your partner in for a free class this month — and nothing says romance like a yoga or spin class with your cutie. Another way to save money is to go “homemade.” Follow this D.I.Y. and make your sweetie a coupon book for things like breakfast in bed or a massage. Or maybe just do your loved one a favor — if your partner has been pestering you to quit smoking or stop leaving your wet towel on the floor, vow to kick your bad habits in the name of love!

  Casual Monday night curling session.   A photo posted by Whitney Haggerson (@whaggerson) on

Opt for an experience

With busy lives, it’s hard to spend quality time together. Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday this year, giving you a few extra hours to devote to your loved one. Grab your skis or snowshoes and head out for a day of heart-pumping fun at Mount Rainier National Park. If the weather cooperates, hang out for a romantic sunset picnic.

You can also think about volunteering together. A recent study found that those who create valuable relationships through volunteering had a decreased risk of mortality. That’s a double-whammy of the good kind!

So whether you’re single, taken or somewhere in between, there are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that won’t derail your healthy habits. Let us know how you plan to celebrate the day of love!

Header photo courtesy of Whitney Haggerson.

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healthy Valentine's DayWhitney Haggerson is a California native who is learning to love the Pacific Northwest in all its fleece-y glory. Living LifeWise is part of her quest to learn to love exercise rather than do it as a means of offsetting her peanut butter addiction. Whitney works as an Internal Consultant for LifeWise and lives in Green Lake with her husband and their chocolate Lab.