Opt for an Active Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine’s Day doesn't necessarily coincide with a healthy lifestyle. Consider that the staples of the day include a box of chocolates and a likely high-caloric dinner out. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You and your significant other can have a great Valentine’s Day as a couple and contribute to your health. Mix things up this February 14, with these active alternatives to dinner and a movie.

Pair up for a group class. Check out a new HIIT session or indoor cycling class at a local health club or boutique. The challenge is made easier with a little support from your partner. Plus, burning off a few hundred calories leaves some room for a more decadent dinner.

Run together. Set a goal to run a 5K race together in the future and get started with a side-by-side treadmill workout. Working towards a common goal is a great way to develop a relationship. If you’re competitive, see who can finish a predetermined distance on the treadmill first.

Be active at home. Heading out on Valentine's Day can be a daunting task, so stay in. Start the night by challenging each other in your home gym (if you don't have a home gym, see here). Find out who can do the most pushups in 30 seconds, or who can plank for the longest. After a 30 or 40 minutes of exercise, settle in for a healthy dinner at home and a movie. 

Ice skating. Ice skating can be fun, romantic (hand-holding for “balance”) and can burn calories—around 250 every half hour. Embrace the winter cold with a few laps around a rink.

Couples yoga. Yoga has become an extremely popular form of exercise among men and women of all ages. An hour-long yoga session soothes the body and mind, which can't be bad for any couple. Namaste.

Go for a bike ride. If you live in a part of the world where winter doesn’t force you inside, head into the great outdoors for an early evening bike ride. You can cover plenty of ground and feel good about the amount of cardiovascular exercise you can manage in an hour or two.

Rock climbing. Head to a gym with a rock climbing wall. It’s a tremendous workout that can be competitive, teamwork-oriented and stress reducing – you’ll be concentrating on the enormous wall and giant drop rather than on the day’s irritations. Expect to burn up to 600 calories per hour with this Valentine’s Day option.

Hiking. Pack up some hot chocolate, and head out for a rendezvous with Mother Nature. Depending upon terrain you can burn between 200 to 500 calories per hour. Hiking can alleviate stress and it’s a great way to get some alone time.

Cross-country skiing. There’s something very serene about hitting the cross-country trails. There’s also a ton of cardio benefit. Spending an hour exploring the countryside can burn up to 600 calories.