February is American Heart Month, a national initiative that educates and encourages everyone to engage in behaviors good for heart health. February is also the month where love is in the air during Valentine’s Day, which can mean you want to get fit to attract a new partner or workout together with your current one. Whatever the case may be, February presents new motivational incentives to continue your fitness momentum from the New Year.
Valentine’s Day Workout
Valentine’s Day occurs annually on February 14th. That leaves you two whole weeks to get in shape or make your romantic plans. Here are some fun February workouts for singles and couples.
There’s nothing wrong with being single. While some singles dread Valentine’s Day, others own the fact that they are “flying solo” and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. Use the time around Valentine’s Day to focus on yourself. Concentrate on your physical and mental health by spending time in the gym. If you feel lonely, join a group exercise class. For example, you might enjoy spin class, Les Mills BodyPump, or yoga. The group dynamic makes it easy to meet people!
Look Great & Feel Confident
Single and ready to mingle? Looks aren’t everything of course, but you still want to look and feel your best to catch the eye of a prospective date. February workouts will produce endorphins in your brain, leaving you with a sense of confidence for Valentine’s Day. That might just give you the courage to meet someone new!
If you’re already in a relationship, there are plenty of fitness friendly ways to spend Valentine’s Day with your significant other. Here is a sample Valentine’s Day workout you can do with your partner either at home or at the gym:
- Jump Squats (12 reps) – Stay in sync and high five each other during each squat
- Back-to-Back Medicine Ball Passes (20 reps) – Stand back-to-back or in wall sit position as you take turns passing a med ball around in a rotational motion.
- Wall Sits (30 seconds to 1 minute) with Tricep Dips (as many as you can in that time) – One partner wall sits while the other holds on to the former’s knees while performing triceps dips.
- Friendly Push-Up Contest – Who can do more?! If you’re looking for a real challenge, see how many you can do with your partner sitting on your back.
- Partner Banded Squat to Row (8-12 reps) – Link two resistance bands together, squat at the same time, then after you come back up, row your arms back at the same time.
- Partner Side Plank – Both partners get into side plank position and with your top hand, put your free hands palm to palm. One partner pushes with an extended arm while the other resists, bending at the elbow, and then take turns.
Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America so you need to give your heart the attention it deserves. Certain risk factors can’t be controlled, such as age, gender, and family history. However, there are factors within your control. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can work towards a healthy heart.
The first path is through healthy nutrition. Certain foods, either positively or negatively, affect your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body. The following foods are important to include in your diet if you want to achieve long-term heart health:
- A wide variety of fruits and vegetables
- Whole-grain products
- Low-fat dairy products
- Lean protein choices (ie: skinless poultry and fish)
- Nuts and legumes
- Non-tropical vegetable oils
Just as you want to fill your body will nutrient-rich foods, you’ll also want to avoid unhealthy foods full of trans fats, saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. Preparing meals at home will give you greater control of what goes in your body.
The DASH Diet is another approach you can follow to improve your cardiovascular health. It’s specifically designed to lower hypertension.
The second path to a healthy heart is through exercise. Specifically, aerobic exercises will improve your heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently throughout your body. Aerobic exercises include activities such as swimming, running, biking, and rowing. If you find these activities too monotonous, there are plenty of group exercise classes that will get your heart pumping.
February Fitness Exercise Classes
- Hot yoga in Mequon
- Hot yoga is more intense than a traditional yoga practice. It’ll get you sweating and your heart pumping!
- Indoor cycling in Brookfield
- Spin is one of the best aerobic workouts and it’s tons of fun! Each instructor has their own styles and playlists, making each class a unique experience.
- Pilates in Glendale
- Build muscle strength and burn lots of calories with Pilates! Not a typical aerobic exercise, this class will still get your heart rate up through controlled muscle movements.
- Boxing in Mequon
- Channel your stress and frustrations into physical movement with boxing. You’ll elevate your heart rate as well as learn important self-defense techniques. You can find our small group training boxing class at Elite Sports Club-Mequon.
For additional tips, read our blog specifically on lifestyle changes you can make to improve long-term heart health.