Health & Fitness

Suggestive tips for lovers and loners for Valentine’s Day

Experts disagree on whether chocolate is an aphrodisiac but we bet you score at Romanicos Chocolate on Coral Way near Coral Gables.
Experts disagree on whether chocolate is an aphrodisiac but we bet you score at Romanicos Chocolate on Coral Way near Coral Gables. Miami Herald File Photo

Have we got a proposition — or two or three — to make your Valetine’s Day the hottest yet. After all, it’s South Florida and we have so many romantic Valentine’s Day options that go beyond simply dining out. Though we can make that sexy, too. Here, then, are a dozen or so ways that will turn you — and your lover, significant other or best pal — on for Valentine’s Day.

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou

Enjoy a romantic picnic and a movie night on the sand at Tropicale at The Miami Beach Edition, 2901 Collins Ave. For the Tropicale’s Valentine’s Day special, couples reserve a picnic basket of light bites and a bottle of rosé for $100. For your dime, they screen the 1961 romantic comedy, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” starring Audrey Hepburn at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Call 786-257-4500, ext. 4600.

Cooking together can be romantic. Ayesha D’Mello of Ayesha’s Kitchen hosts a Valentine’s Day cooking class for couples. Learn how to prepare an authentic Indian meal of Madras chicken curry with saffron basmati pilaf and quinoa bean kachumbar salad and a dessert of chocolate peda (a scrumptious Indian fudge). Share your dish alfresco poolside. The Sweet ‘n’ Spice Your Valentine class, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 9105 SW 115th Terr., near Kendall, is $170 per couple. Call 305-254-0693.

Raid a chocolate shop together or pick up a box for a solo Netflix ‘n’ you indulgence.

Experts disagree on whether chocolate is an aphrodisiac but we bet you score at some of our most delectable and decadent chocolate shops: Romanicos Chocolate on Coral Way near Coral Gables; Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine in Midtown Miami; Cacao Art, a Venezuelan chocolatier in Miami; and Jimmie’s Chocolates in Davie or the Dania Beach flagship where its Cafe 47 Caribbean-inspired bistro offers its Night of Tropical Romance Valentine’s Dinner Party for $69 per guest. Call 954-921-0688.

Dine with champion chefs. At Hearts & Palms at Kitchen 5007 in Sunrise, “Chopped” winner Roshni Gurnani and Caribbean Chef of the Year Vicky Colas team to prepare a four-course dinner. Two seating times, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday, at 5007 Hiatus Rd. Cost: $150 per couple, includes bottle of wine. Call 954-281-2763.

Sleep-In Cinema: Valentine’s Film Series at The Standard, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach, has full, queen or king beds for up to four for $50-$90, snacks and bedside booze selections, and screenings of “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Purple Rain” on Friday, “500 Days of Summer” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on Saturday, and “Pretty in Pink” and “Top Gun” on Sunday. Beds were going fast at

Read a story revealing the most expensive cities in the world for Valentine’s Day. Yes, Miami.

Chef Allen’s Farm-to-Table Dinners at The Café at Books & Books in the Arsht Center plaza features a five-course vegetarian meal, served family style. This week’s theme: Valentine’s Edible Flowers from Homestead’s Paradise Farms, at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Call 786-405-1745.

Let’s get physical

Why not go extreme instead of the familiar Hallmark holiday routine? First date or old married couple, get your baby on a Go-Kart, try a ropes course or make like it’s 1978 and book a roller-skating session for two. Xtreme Action Park, 5300 Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale, has an array of $40 Valentines’s Day Sweetheart Specials like these at 954-491-6265 or visit Fun and fitness — because getting physical is a big part of Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of which, have sex.

Sex is so slimming! According to a May 2016 Woman’s Day story, 8 Sexy Ways to Burn Calories, kissing burns 68 calories per hour (based on the body weight of a 150-pound woman). Make those besos vigorous and involve some petting and you can ramp it up to 90 calories.

And that could lead to making whoopie and then you’re really starting to burn off that chocolate. Sex for 30 minutes can burn more than 144 calories and if you get really creative with workout-like positions (think planking, squats, rollin’ the belly like a belly dancer) it can blast more than 200 calories, which would burn off three pieces of chocolate from a Whitman’s Sampler.

Work out. Planet Fitness director Brian Zehetner has some tips to help couples fire up their romance on Valentine’s Day.

▪ Keep workouts simple. If you want to exercise with your partner, you don’t have to develop complicated training programs.

▪ A 30-minute circuit session on strength and cardio stations could be all you need, leaving time for socializing after you exercise.

▪ Compromise. If you’re at different fitness levels, pick exercises that can be done by both you and your partner. Remember to include strength and cardio components and a pre- and post-workout stretch.

▪ Togetherness matters. For the warm up and cool down, don’t park right in front of the gym. Park a number of blocks away, which gives you walking time to warm up before and cool off after.

Music hath charms...

Take in a concert. Coral Gables Museum’s fifth annual Valentine’s Day concert features The Alhambra Orchestra’s string quartet and pianist Mia Vassilev on classical selections by Haydn, Schubert, Vivaldi, Mozart and a waltz, tango and opera piece. The 7 p.m. Tuesday concert, is on the courtyard at 285 Aragon Ave. and includes open wine bar, chocolates and museum admission. Tickets are $35 and $25 for museum members. Call 305-603-8067.

Moonlight & Music Valentine’s Day Concert, with Biscayne Bay as a backdrop, should be a beaut on the grounds of Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Jazz, pop and soul vocalist Chloe Dolandis and R&B/funk singer Alejandro Elizondo perform. Tickets are $25. Call 305-235-1668 ext. 233.

Or play a record. For babymaking music, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” (1973) and “I Want You” (1976) albums will put you in the mood. Some things just go together: Peanut butter and chocolate. And Marvin Gaye music and sex.

Still others rely on the “Fifty Shades” soundtracks, The Weeknd and Chet Baker for a soundtrack to l’amour. But here are a couple other music suggestions you might have overlooked. Bonus points for listening on vinyl where you can really bask in the warmth.

Barry Gibb’s recent “Star Crossed Lovers” single feels like a tender Technicolor theme song for a romantic ’40s musical. Art Garfunkel’s intention for his 1975 LP, “Breakaway,” was to craft a “romantic album, a make-out album for the ’70s.” With a heart-melting read of the 1934 jazz standard, “I Only Have Eyes for You,” he comes close. For rockin’ lovers, Dire Straits’ 1980 “Making Movies” album is a lingering kiss.

Singles need love, too

Singles Awareness Day — apparently, an alternative name for Valentine’s Day — at Cinépolis Coconut Grove, 3015 Grand Ave., has a dinner, drinks and movie concept. A New England lobster roll, a Peach Prosecco Margarita and cappuccino while on a leather reclining seat for “La La Land” sounds like a nifty Miami night. Tickets for premium seating are $14.50 for adults, $13.50 for seniors. Prices for food and drink vary. Call 305-446-6843.

Tips for single moms or those who can relate. Career coach and motivational speaker Heather Monahan of Miami Beach agrees that Valentine’s Day is a holiday all about love — but who says that has to mean romantic love? This single mom has some ideas to help single moms on Valentine’s Day. But we bet these tips will work for single dads and plain ol’ singles, too:

▪ Create some activities for you and your kids. Maybe it’s watching a favorite movie or cartoon special (“Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown” and its sequel “A Charlie Brown Valentine” always work) and pigging out on pizza. Bake something together or do crafts.

▪  Host a party. Invite other singles or couples (if you can stand them) for some sweets. Maybe one of the other singles could become The One.

▪ Indulge in something just for you. Buy yourself a Valentine’s gift. Book a massage. Soak in a bubble bath. “Self-love and self-care are super important to stay positive,” Monahan says. “And when you’re in a positive mind space, you attract other positive people into your life.”

▪ Do something for someone else. Can be as simple as smiling at a stranger. (OK, in Miami that might get you some strange looks.) Pay for someone’s meal behind you in a drive-through. Donate to charity. Volunteer.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.