Gifts of Good Health for Valentine’s Day

heartsI love Valentine’s Day! I find that Valentine’s Day is the perfect vehicle for expressing our care for the special people in our lives. Flowers are lovely but quickly fade. Other traditional gifts of decadent chocolates, good wine, and rich meals at fancy restaurants are fine if our loved ones aren’t battling weight issues, high blood pressure or cholesterol. But sometimes those tempting indulgences may be the very things those loved ones are trying to avoid, with varying degrees of success. Don’t sabotage someone’s New Year’s resolutions with the wrong Valentine’s Day gift!
Try a new expression of love this year with a gift that supports or even improves health. Depending on your budget and circumstances, you can spend a lot or a little or sometimes nothing but your time. Here are twelve innovative and healthy ways to say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day. They may inspire more romance than you ever expected.
1. Write your sweetie a coupon good for companionship on daily walks, or a weekly hike at a nearby park or woods.
2. A gift certificate for therapeutic massage can offer a sweet reward for someone trying to start a regular exercise routine.
3. Smoking cessation programs might be the tipping point of resolve for a loved one trying to take that plunge away from nicotine addiction.
4. A trial membership at a health club might also spur someone to take action on new and healthy forms of recreation.
5. Gift certificates to a health food store or organic grocery might tickle your resident foodie. Fruit-of-the-month club shipments are a healthy luxury, especially in winter.
6. One forty-something woman whose family has a history of cancer scheduled herself and her husband for an overdue cancer screening with a dermatologist the week of Valentine’s Day, then treated her husband to lunch after the appointment. They celebrated their clean bill of health together.
7. If your budget allows, a Wii system for your home television offers a whole spectrum of fun, interactive physical activities for the whole family, everything from golf and tennis to yoga and strength exercises. You have to try it to believe it.
8. There are excellent audio CD’s available that can help people manage stress, weight loss, grief, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, pain, smoking cessation, surgery recovery and a host of other issues. Shop your local bookstores or check out companies that specialize in these products, such as
9. Give a subscription to a magazine or publication that is dedicated to your loved one’s special goals or interests. Sports, fitness, healthy cooking, hobbies, travel—all good choices.
10. A journal with a nice writing instrument is a meaningful gift for anyone who has a long held desire to write or could benefit from a place to channel expression or goal progress. There are also excellent computer journaling programs on the market.
11. A gift certificate to a sporting goods shop or hobby supply store will support your loved one’s efforts to channel time and energy to healthy activities.
12. Add extra festiveness to any of these gifts by combining some of them into a gift basket to which you have added some healthy snacks, fresh fruit, seltzer waters or juices, fragrant lotions, candles or items that match the gift, like running socks, a yoga mat, hand weights or multi-vitamins.

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