Written by Kate Wilson-Perez
It’s February. It’s a brand new decade and everyone has recovered enough from the holidays to start working towards those healthier lifestyle resolutions! February is the month we celebrate love with those closest to us for Valentine’s Day and, it is also The National Heart Association’s Heart Health Month. This makes for the perfect celebration of the heart – not only are we celebrating the physical health of the heart this month, but the emotional health as well.
Putting the emotional aspects of the celebration aside for a moment, it is very important to be reminded of some of the statistics regarding the physical health of our heart this month. According to the American Heart Association:
- 17.9 million deaths per year are attributed to heart disease and stroke.
- Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women every year, far over and above all deaths that can be associated with all types of cancer combined. A very eye-opening, scary statistic.
That being said, the light at the end of this scary tunnel is that a full 80% of these deaths can be prevented with a healthy diet, exercise and an overall healthier lifestyle. This got me thinking – there has to be a good way to celebrate love and our emotional heart health in combination with our physical heart health this month. Partner workouts! Yes, grab a loved one and make your hearts happy both physically and emotionally with these fun and challenging partner exercises. No equipment needed just 20 to 30 minutes, a desire to celebrate the whole heart and most of all, a desire to have fun with the person closest to your heart while doing it. Unless otherwise noted, complete 10-15 reps of each exercise 2 to 3 times in a session, 3 to 4 times a week.
- Back to back squats – Stand back to back and squat down together to a 90 degree bend at the knees then rise back up.
- Plank Hi-5 – Come to plank position on forearms or hands, head to head and lift opposite arm up and hi-5 each other, alternating hands with the hi-5 (hold for 30 to 60 seconds).
- Foot to Foot Sit-ups – Sit facing each other with the bottoms of your feet pressed together, come to your back and sit up at the same time with feet staying together. Double hi-5 at the top of each rep.
- Pistol Squats – Face each other, wrists crossed and holding hands while extending opposite legs out; perform single legged squats.
February is the perfect month for focusing on whole heart health. Working out as a team is super fun and not only makes the heart happy, but it can also help keep you focused and motivated getting you closer to reaching your goals for your healthy lifestyle resolutions!