02/07/2012 05:19 EST

Things To Do For Valentine's Day: Think Beyond The Dinner

If Valentine's Day is meant to be a day to show your love, why not switch up the roses for some good old-fashioned quality time this year?

Though gestures of affection are certain to be appreciated (far be it from us to discourage flowers, chocolates or jewelry), actually doing something together can be equally rewarding -- and let's face it, probably a bit more cost efficient.

The hosts of The Doctors have come up with some pretty great ideas for activities to take part in together this February 14. And for an added bonus, they even have healthy elements to them -- yes, you can take advantage of those fabulous antioxidants in wine without a hint of guilt.

Valentine's Activities

Sunset Walk

We don't all live at the edge of a beach, but that's no reason to ignore a gorgeous sunset. Even the most time-stressed among us can make a date to enjoy watching the end of the day together at least once.

Health bonus: If you have more time on your hands, plan a hike with some serious inclines around the grand finale for the best view at the top.

Dance Lessons

Couples no longer have prescribed dances they know how to do -- and that's a bit of a shame, isn't it? There are few activities more sensual than dancing together -- and even if you're both complete clutzes, you'll at least get some good laughs out of it.

Health bonus: Besides balance and coordination, the cardio effects of dancing average out at 400 calories an hour. Plus, you'll learn how to work with your partner's body in a whole new way, and that's never a bad thing.


Not every Valentine's Day meal has to take place in a restaurant with prix fixe menus and reservations. Put together a picnic -- indoors or out, surprise or planned -- and turn a romantic meal into a sweet tradition.
Health bonus: Making the food yourself will let you control not only what goes into your food, but the portion size too.

Cooking Lessons

When it comes to activities for couples to do together, it's hard to beat cooking. There are tons of cooking lessons offered in every city, for every level of expertise.
Health bonus: Cooking together can burn up to 148 calories per hour -- talk about a tasty workout.

Hop In The Jacuzzi

If you're able to get access to a Jacuzzi or a heated pool, taking a dip with your loved one is great way to relax and add some sensuality to Valentine's Day.
Health bonus: Warm water has been known to improve sleeping habits and soothe muscles. And if there's room for it, why not have a little racing competition? This complete body workout can burn up to 700 calories per hour.

Luxurious Bath For Two

Find a way to get the house to yourselves (a grandparent babysitting night, perhaps?), and create your own escape in your bathroom. Light up some aromatherapy candles and add some Epson salts that are high in magnesium.
Health bonus: The salts can help out with magnesium deficiencies, which can otherwise lead to heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, digestive issues, chronic fatigue and stress-related illnesses. Salts are also soothing to the skin.

Wine Tasting

Do a little research and find a vineyard or local restaurant featuring wine tasting in your area. Learning more about the nuances of a glass of vino can enhance meals for years to come.
Health bonus: Moderate alcohol consumption has been proven to help reduce coronary heart disease risk, and red wine has the added benefits of flavonoids, when you drink responsibly. However, try to keep the drinking to a two glass maximum (one glass = 4 ounces = 4 "tastes").

Ice Skating

If your city has an outdoor or indoor skating rink, lace up your skates and spend the day feeling like contestants on Battle Of The Blades. Not scared of public displays of affection? You can always hold hands.
Health bonus: Skating is a great way to tone your legs and butt. (And if you fall on your butt, at least your partner will be there to help you out.)

Couple's Massage

Book aside some time for the two of you to visit a spa and indulge in a massage together -- or better yet, find masseuses who will come to your home so you can relax without even having to get dressed.
Health bonus: Besides potentially helping as much as medication for muscle pain (perhaps from all that skating?), massages also relieve stress and boost immunity.