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February 2006: Oh, cupid...

“Cupid, draw back your bow!”, sings Sam Cooke (forever, thanks to technology).  Cupid (a.k.a. Eros, generally agreed to be the offspring of Venus and Mars, although some have said of Mercury, and others of Mercury and Diana) is flitting about this month and the mischievous god may strike at any time!  But all he leaves you is pining for love you may or may not obtain.  And so, February brings to mind Valentines and cakes and bonbons and candies and roses and love, both requited and unrequited.  This winter month should also bring to mind acts of kindness that go beyond romantic love. 

           What’s “healthy” about that?  February 13-19 is Random Acts of Kindness Week.  The “random” part is what makes it fun and spreads the love beyond our normal circle of friends and family.  Well, isn’t it so much easier to go to the store to get a heart of chocolates for our significant other than to spend an hour, half a day or all day on the 14th of February at a soup kitchen or food pantry?

            Not to be outdone by kindness, it is also thoughtfulness in love that counts (and can save lives).  February 14th and the week from the 14th through the 21st are National Condom Day and Week (!). And the entire month is National Condom Month.   When Modern Cupid strikes, he leaves you a message of love:  carry condoms! 

            Not to be outperformed by an oft-represented-as-chubby godlet (!), it is also Heart Health Month, with 12-18 February being National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week.  It isn’t just a love that leaves us with broken hearts at times.  “Breaking” hearts is something we can do to ourselves when we do not take time to eat well, exercise and try to forestall undue stress, especially if our family history requires these of us.  February is Wise Health Consumer Month, so use the Internet or your wellness clinic/health care provider’s office to find information regarding how to have better nutrition, for example. 

            With February 1st as National Girls and Women in Sports Day, look to the Olympics where we have many young women in contention for top medals, from skiboarding to figure skating to slalom!  And encourage the “girls” in your life to be active.  Activity is the key, whether Cupid has struck or not, to a happy and healthy life; not only will your heart sing but your mind may stave off Alzheimer’s by movement (20-30 minutes a day – ANYthing!) and by keeping active and social.