When you love to grow old with your spouse or partner, from that day onwards, every day can be a valentine day for you. I am talking about a generation of Indians who opt for arranged married or love or even happily single yet they take time to adjust in life. This article is not about creating a Valentine day itinerary, I wanted to share some concerns which we tend to overlook over cards and roses and candle light dinner. Lets talk about health of your partner.
Health is important and it is more important to keep a timely check on your own and partner’s body. Most of my colleagues think that getting a comprehensive blood test from a branded Diagnostic Lab takes care of everything. Actually after 40 you need to look into other aspects.

For women, I would recommend that PAP smear, Mammography and Bone densitometry can be important as her dental and mental well-being. Indian women are highly prone to cervical cancer and all it takes is to get a PAP smear included in your spouse’s well women package. Why Mammography? Indian women are also susceptible for breast cancer, hence a simple procedure can rule out any chance of breast cancer. Similarly every women in Indian household is more keen to monitor to the calcium intake of husband and children and overlook their own health. To rule out any future bone related issues, it’s better to get a bone densitometry test included in the package so that in case of any deficiency it can be checked at the earliest. So when was it last that you booked a health-check package for her?

For men, PSA test is must after 40. prostrate enlargement is a major issue among Indian men. It’s a simple marker test using blood as a sample. For smokers and hard drinkers , wives must make sure to get the liver and lungs checked. Obesity is another issue Indian men are going through, especially the belly fat. These conditions clubbed with hypertension also triggers early diabetes. Better make it a point to get them checked at Valentine’s day. High cholesterol is a silent killer, when did you last get your partner’s cholesterol checked?

These days another common ailment which a lot of 40 plus couples face is depression or sleep disorders. This valentine, talk about mental issues and sleep disorders. Make a healthy and new start to your relationship. Mental issues can take a long term toll on your partner’s health, hence visit a doctor and share your issues. It’s Ok to talk.

Recently I had come across a beautiful quote which says “I want to hold your hands at 80 and say we made it”. It looks difficult to achieve in 2020 when most of us overlook our minor health issues and spend more on material pleasures. This valentine you also have the option to start yoga or a brisk morning walk with your partner. At least hold your partner’s hand walk for a while. Valentine is all about loving, caring and sharing your feelings with your loved ones and showing gratitude. Incorporating a healthy life style will only increase your longevity if nothing else.

Were you aware that there are “yoga” exercises to boost your relationship and transform your romance and intimacy? I recently came across them, hence sharing with you. Check this out!

Couple yoga

Couple yoga allows you to tap into this natural physical arousal that will have you being physically active in another way in no time. There are approximately 33 types of poses that you can try.

# 1 Yin-Yang Pose or Back to Back Pose
I also feel that this should be named as “Ardh-narishwar” pose as it requires a man and woman to come together and support each other and form one figure. Here are some very simple steps:
• Sit back-to-back with your partner with legs crossed.
• Sit upright so your lower back to your shoulder blades are in contact with your partner’s.
• Use each other’s back as a form of support to allow your core muscles to relax a bit more.
• Begin your meditation practice by breathing in rhythm with your partner.
• While breathing, you can choose any of the following patterns:
1) Double Breath – You and your partner inhale simultaneously, feeling the pressure of the air push outward against each other. You can exhale in tandem focusing your attention on the relaxing effect it has on not only yourself but also on the body of your partner.
2)  Yin-yang – Bring balance to your combined breathing by exhaling as your partner inhales and inhaling as your partner exhales.

#2 Side Bend Pose
This is interesting pose when you sit back to back and do this pose
• Sit back-to-back with your partner with your legs crossed.
• Raise your hands out to the sides making them parallel with the ground.
• Hold one another’s forearm or interlocking hands
• Begin the lean to one side by extending the opposite shoulder up and away from the hip.
• Try to make contact with the ground with one set of hands and other to stabilize by raising in the air.
• At this point, continue to deepen the bend while keeping your but firmly planted on the ground and extending your opposite arm over your head for a deep stretch.
• As you begin to bend, place the hand of the side you are leaning to on the floor.
• Repeat these steps at least 5 times.

# 3 Look Into My Eyes Pose
This gives you all those rosy moments which you can’t get at 40 and yet no one comes to know about this spark which ignites while doing this exercise.
• Sit with your legs crossed, facing your partner with your knees touching.
• Extend your right hand towards their right waist.
• Stretch your left hand behind your back towards your right waist.
• Your partner mirrors your movement by setting up in the same way.
• Take hold of your partner’s right hand with your left hand.
• Take hold of your partner’s left hand with your right hand.
• Try deep stretch for each other by pulling on your partner’s hand behind their back while you stretch to reduce any unnecessary strain on your body.
• Repeat this step at least 4-5 times and then rest.

#4 Boat Pose – Row Row Row Your Boat
It’s easy and fun, try them
◦ You can sit facing one another, now try to bend your knees and touch toes with your partner.
◦ Extend your hands outward and take hold of their wrist or forearm.
◦ Bring the soles of your feet in contact with each other and now you can slowly raise your feet upward.
◦ During this process, make sure that your knees should come towards your chest as you keep the upper body straight.
◦ As your legs continue to rise, begin straightening your legs.
◦ Hold this final position and breathe for 4-5 time (inhale/exhale) and return back to your original position.

There are several other positions which can be tried. I suggest that you start with at least one of these on Valentine’s day, rest can be practiced later. Remember, at 40 its not late to ignite that passion which you had, when you were 20. Just go for it.
Those who are physically active are generally healthier, happier, and have better sex than those who are not active. Yoga in particular can improve your sex life in many ways; yoga increases circulation and blood flow which increases arousal, yoga can make you feel more comfortable and in your own skin and therefore more sexually confident, and it strengthens the muscles of the core and pelvic floor strength and increases sensation.

Combination of regular health check and Yoga can help you live longer and also help you celebrate many more Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dr. Siddhartha Dutta