Celebrating hearts on Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2013 4 Comments »
Celebrating hearts on Valentine’s Day

My tonsils are huge. Every doctor who has every examined me agrees. And it’s the reason, they believe, that I’ve been getting strep throat on and off for the last few years. I was last afflicted in August and that time the infection caused another health ripple.

Without going into too much medical detail, the strep caused my thyroid to go out of whack and I became temporarily “hyper thyroid”. One of the side effects of hyper-thyroidism is a racing or irregular heartbeat, and is the one symptom that really concerns doctors.

For the first time in my life my heart would start racing while I was just sitting there and it caused me to think about my heart health in a way that I hadn’t ever before.

I’ve got a clean diet and moderately active lifestyle. It never occurred to me that I might be at any risk for heart problems. But here I was, limiting my activity, stopping my running – just as I was getting started – because I needed to avoid elevating my heart rate.

It’s all resolved now, but I’m left with a new appreciation for the old ticker. On Valentine’s Day, our family will focus on love and hearts but this year it won’t be just the ones made of cinnamon.

This year, I want us to celebrate Valentine’s Day by moving our bodies and feeling our blood pumping because we can and that’s not something I want to take for granted anymore.

My plan is to work with the kids and my husband and come up with a heart-healthy dinner menu and an active family activity that we can do together. Given that it’s a weeknight I’m thinking of suggesting a Valentine’s Day family dance party where we play only songs about love but I’m open to their ideas.

We’ll still make valentines, decorate in red and pink, celebrate the people we love, and remember how lucky we are to have each other. But I also want to bring focus to each beat of our actual hearts and how fortunate we are to have healthy bodies that do their jobs for us each and every day.

Want to help us build our playlist? Use the comment section to suggest some (heart)beaty tunes for our party.

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4 Comments

  1. Jordan Lannan February 16, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

    hey this isn’t necessarily for a dance party, but i find these songs motivating for exercise, ***but some are obviously not family-oriented*** – but good for a serious workout anyhow.

    Black Tongue – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    The Seeker – The Who
    Nice Boys – Guns n Roses
    Heavy Metal – Don Felder
    Supernaut – Black Sabbath
    Death or Glory – Motorhead
    Breakin’ the Law – Judas Priest
    Good Times / Bad Times – Led Zeppelin

    and for love songs i would suggest anything by the beatles cuz they’re best. hope you like it but if not don’t worry i didn’t write any of these songs :)

    • Sara Smeaton
      Sara Smeaton February 18, 2013 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Thanks Jordan! Maybe I’ll check these out when I get back to running in the spring, they might motivate me to go a bit farther than my usual route.

  2. Alison Johnson February 14, 2013 at 3:46 am - Reply

    A dance party is a great idea, Sara. My family loves music. Music is so important in life. Here are some of our favorites that mean a lot to us:

    Grow Old Along With Me – Mary Chapin Carpenter
    Love Will Keep Us Alive – The Eagles
    Have I Told You Lately That I Love You – Van Morrison
    What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
    In the Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
    Lean on Me – The Temptations
    See What Love Can Do – by Eric Clapton
    Love and Happiness – by Al Green
    Home – Michael Buble

    Not all danceable but definitely full of love. Have a great day.

    • Sara Smeaton
      Sara Smeaton February 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Allison, I love your suggestions and will definitely check some of these out for the next dance party. We had an awesome time tonight and I, for one, worked up quite a sweat. Thanks so much for your comment and playlist. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

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