The beginning of February is always a welcome relief for most as it's the end of January which, let's be honest is always a pretty big struggle. Those extra pounds are still lingering from Christmas, you've probably managed to make it to the gym about twice and it's freezing outside!

Giulia / Credit: Charlie Davies

Giulia / Credit: Charlie Davies

So, you embrace February you're working out regularly, eating sensibly, drinking in moderation and Christmas is a distant memory - you think you're onto a winner of a year! Then suddenly out of nowhere you're slapped in the face by all these Big Red Hearts - they seem to be everywhere. Now, If you're single or, if you've recently broken up with somebody you might get the feeling that you're missing out or that you don't belong to some secret Love club. Well, let me tell you something you're not missing out at all.

Valentine's Day in theory is great. Tell someone special or the people you Love exactly how you feel - send him or her a secret Valentine, make their day. Really, though shouldn't we be doing this every day of the year and not just on one day that falls on February 14th?

The history of Valentine's Day-and the story of its patron saint St Valentine is veiled in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the order, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl-possibly his jailor's daughter-who visited him during his imprisonment.

All rather fascinating but Instead of giving our hearts away this Valentine's Day, do you know what we should be doing a lot more of instead? Looking after our Hearts.

That's right February is National Heart Month. There are about 2.6 million people in the UK living with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Every single one of us has a heart which means every one of us is at potential risk.

Understanding heart conditions isn't an easy task - there are lots of different types and knowing how the heart works is more helpful when trying to learn about these conditions. But looking at the facts will benefit yourself and the people you love in the long run.

Managing your diet, keeping fit, and watching your blood pressure are just a few important factors.

The British Heart Foundation's webpage https://www.bhf.org.uk has information about heart diseases and how you can beat them. And, don't forget to get your free fundraising kit!

This important month also gives us the perfect excuse to sip a glass of red wine - when holding your own Red Wine Tasting Evening! Red Wine is known to be good for the heart - but only in moderation! And why not continue the theme by hosting a "Come Dine Red with Me" evening by asking your friends and family to bring along a red themed dish, for example a rich casserole with red wine or a delicious strawberry mousse - the list is endless and a great opportunity for you to practice your cooking skills and raise money at the same time!

But there are other activities for everyone including workmates, family members or friends to take part in. You could have a wear red to work day, dye your hair red for the month, or make handmade Valentine's Day cards to raise funds for this worthwhile cause. But whatever you decide to do for National Heart Month - you can do it however you want!

So Look after your heart this Valentine's Day - It's the only one you've got.

Love Giulia xoxo