In honor of Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month, grab your sweetheart and partner up for a healthier heart. Here are steps to getting your tickers in tip-top shape.

  • Exercise. Every muscle in your body gets stronger when you use it and the heart is no exception. So take a walk together, go for a bike ride, or try ballroom dancing. According to research reported in the New York Times, people who have an active lifestyle have a 45 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than those who are sedentary.
  • Cook at home. What could be more romantic than a home-cooked, candlelit dinner? Research shows that those who cook at home eat healthier foods and consume fewer calories – two pluses for heart health. Log onto to the Signature Patient Website for lots of delicious ideas.
  • Smile. Johns Hopkins University researchers found that positive people with a family history of heart disease were one-third less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event than those who were less positive.
  • Spice things up. Just one spicy meal per week can reduce your chances of dying of heart disease.
  • Think outside the box. When you think chocolate this Valentine’s Day, get creative. Mixing ground coffee with unsweetened cocoa powder and spices makes a great dry rub. Flavanols in chocolate (which are more prevalent in dark varieties) reduce cell damage that impacts heart disease. Chocolate Sensations feature a proprietary formula designed to support fat burning and suppress appetite. At only 40 calories per piece and 3g fat, these dark chocolates are a healthier alternative on Valentine’s Day and year-round.
  • Raise a mug. Coffee can be a ticker tonic. According to a Harvard study, those who drank three to five cups of caffeinated (or even decaffeinated) coffee per day had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who said no to a cup of joe.
  • Pucker up. A passionate kiss can burn 8 to 16 calories and reduce blood pressure. Smooch away!

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.

Active Medi-Weightloss® patients should consult the experts at their location on whether the foods and recipes mentioned are appropriate for their phase of the program.