Partners in life and partners in health!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with COVID-19 physical restrictions in place, your usual Valentine’s Day plans might not be an option this year. Consider these physically distanced alternative dates that also get your heart pumping and burn calories.

According to a study published in JAMA International Medicine, when one partner commits to healthy habits like exercise, the other partner is likely to follow their cue. Adding some physical activity when you celebrate holidays that often focus on food and sweets, like Valentine’s Day, helps build healthy habits.

Making physical activity a part of your life, including celebrations, provides a range of benefits, including strengthening your bones and muscles, improving your ability to do everyday activities, and managing your weight.

#1 Go for a walk or a jog

Take your Valentine on a walk through a park or trail in your neighborhood, then end it with a pre-packed, nutritious picnic. Bonus points: Create a custom playlist for the walk!

#2 Go for a bike ride

Houston’s East End has miles of bike-friendly trails. East End trails such as the Sunset Hike and Bike Trail and the Columbia Tap Trail offer access to places of interest, as well as access to Downtown Houston. No bike? No problem! You can rent one from a nearby BCycle station.

#3 Learn a new dance

Clear your living room floor and browse YouTube for how-to videos on new dances, including salsa, merengue, bachata y mas! Dancing relieves stress and boosts levels of happiness-inducing dopamine, according to Nature Neuroscience.

#4 Take a hike

Enjoy nature while exploring trails at one of the beautiful state and local parks in and around Houston. With miles of trails, unique wildlife, and unique terrain, new experiences are around every corner. Just don’t forget to wear a mask!