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13-Feb-2015.By: Elsie Osho


Many aspiring to celebrate Valentine are often keen to countdown to the day when romance was born (as they often presume). It is a time when couples seize the opportunity to overtly express their love for each other in varieties of ways for the whole day. Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world. It is a romantic time lovers don’t want to miss for anything.

Nevertheless, there are other people who don’t seem to fancy valentines’ day with all its thrills, frills and flamboyance, and just believe that love should be expressed to one another every other day on planet earth; not giving any particular credence to the 14th of February (every individual’s belief is respected).

Here in Nigeria, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day. Families are seen in Malls, shopping for new clothes and shoes, lovers watch romantic movies in the cinema or travel to romantic places (like Dubai), or just sit at home doting on each other as if there will be no other day for loving; maybe till the next 10 years, all in a bid to enjoy the Day’s euphoria. It doesn’t stop at individuals. Some businesses latch on to this seasonal celebration to improve their bottom-line. Supermarkets stock their shops with beautiful flowers, love shaped chocolates, Cakes, Cards and all kinds of valentine inspired gifts. Boutiques stock up their stores with beautiful dresses and shirt with a touch of red; all in the spirit of love.

Valentine is a time to show love and be loved in return. One very important way of showing such love to your lover or loved ones is to care about their health and help them to achieve success in their health by living and eating healthy. Of course, this cannot be achieved except you achieved it first on yourself. Love starts from self. You have to love yourself first before extending to others, and there is no way you can express love to someone except you are healthy

So, in the midst of this love celebration; your health and those of your loved ones are paramount. Therefore, you need to make it beautiful by keeping at those healthy habits you are used to and keeping away from all unhealthy habits. It is also important to say that Valentine’s Day celebration does not give you any justification to drift away from a healthy eating and lifestyle. There are many ways you can celebrate with loved ones without breaking any healthy eating rule. You can actually eat, drink and celebrate in a safe and healthy way, enjoy yourselves as much as you desire without compromising your health.

In the midst of the romance in the air and wine flowing freely, it can be easy to overdo it. And given that Valentine’s Day is all about the heart, there’s no better opportunity to keep yours in tip-top shape. So vow to make your romantic meals a heart-healthy one.

Instead of having the conventional Val’s celebration, do the things you don’t have time to do every day and make it wonderful. You can head to the Gym for a Gym Date; Valentine’s Day is the perfect chance to do it together, so create a couples workout to do together or take each other’s favourite class. You can try each other’s favourite workout just to add more spice to the moment.

Valentine’s Day should not be about eating at the eatery, make this valentine memorable by cooking your our own healthy foods, and have a sit-out enjoying the foods you love with the ones you love. Avoid indulging in foods high in cholesterol that are unhealthy for the body. Add more vegetables and fruits to the day’s diet and let it remain as such even after the exceptional celebration (it will do you a lot better). Even if you still insist on eating out; choose a heart healthy dish with a reasonable and sizable portion. You can switch the cooking process, don’t leave all the cooking to the lady or even the regular cook; make it beautiful by cooking with your spouse. Trust me, this works; you’ll not only create a healthy meal, but a new memory.

You can also enjoy a Healthy Brunch together. Decorate the table with a Valentine themed table setting and cook up some of your best dishes to complete the equation; you can add more zing to the moment by making some native foods too (enough of the everyday food, make rare, special and healthy foods. You can look up some new recipes too).

Get Massages together. Treat yourself and the one you love with a massage. Massages are known to relieve stress and muscle pain so unwind and relax together with a couples massage.

Valentine’s Day might be filled with red roses, chocolate hearts, and candlelight dinners, but there is one thing this celebration of love often forgets to include… the mention of safe sex, or better still, abstinence (for the unmarried)! According to a source from Society for Family Health (SFH) in Nigeria, last year’s celebration of valentine dragged 2.5m condom packs from the shops to the hands of Nigerians. While the global consumption of the product was put at approximately 1.2 billion. So the question isn’t, are people having sex on Valentine’s Day? The question is, are people having safe and healthy sex on Valentine’s Day? Or maybe the question should be, who should have sex on Valentine’s Day?

This question rolls out the importance of safe sex education in helping people make healthy decisions when it comes to sex. So here is a safe sex “lesson” for Valentine’s Day:-

The first priority for being sexually healthy is asking yourself, are you morally or legally permitted to have sex? As individuals yet to be married, having sex is immoral and should not be endeavoured, asides the possibility of contacting STD from an unprotected sex. It's best to abstain until legally and morally permissible and enjoy your marriage without any negative repercussion in the aftermath. Abstinence is the act of refraining from an act, in this case refrain from sex since you are yet to be married; but if you must, use a condom correctly)

Stay with your (one) partner. There really isn't any fun in having an affair with more than one person, besides now that valentine is celebrated you cannot possibly hang out with all of them at the same time; so why have them in the first place?

Also talking about your sexual health with your partner is just as important. So, here are some suggestions, courtesy of Fascinations Love Expert, Meghan Krein. “Always talk to your partner before getting intimate. Start the dialogue off positively by stating that you care about him/her so you want to protect them, and you’d also like to be protected.

Help Guide also suggested some fundamental submissions to having a healthy relationship, stating that there are some things that good relationships have in common and that knowing the basic principles of healthy relationships helps keep them meaningful, fulfilling and exciting in both happy times and sad:

Staying involved with each other. Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without truly relating to each other and working together. While it may seem stable on the surface, lack of involvement and communication increases distance. When you need to talk about something important, the connection and understanding may no longer be there.

Getting through conflict. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship, though, is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to be safe to express things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation or insisting on being right.

Keeping outside relationships and interests alive. No one person can meet all of our needs, and expecting too much from someone can put a lot of unhealthy pressure on a relationship. Having friends and outside interests not only strengthens your social network, but brings new insights and stimulation to the relationship, too.

Communicating. Honest, direct communication is a key part of any relationship. When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears, and desires, trust and bonds are strengthened. Nonverbal cues—body language like eye contact, leaning forward or away, or touching someone’s arm—are critical to communication.

Love is a beautiful thing, let's celebrate it likewise. Away from the conventional Valentine celebration; go out of your way to put a smile on someone's face this season, don't often wait till the valentine season to show love; but instead make it a lifestyle. We wish you a safe a healthy valentine.

Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM





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