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Valentine's Day: Good for the Heart

Chocolate, red wine, and other expressions of love can be good for you.
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Cupid's Arrow continued...

 

In addition, the human touch can lower blood pressure, and illicit a sense of safety, connection, and comfort, says Carol Rinkleib Ellison, PhD, author of Women's Sexualities, and a psychologist in private practice.

 

"People who do affirm their love for each other before going to sleep tend to sleep more deeply, in a more relaxed way, and they'll wake in the morning more refreshed, in a better mood, and, therefore, they'll get along better," says Ellison.

 

Real life may not always be as simple, but experts do agree that having less stress is good for the health of the overall body, including the heart.

Gifts From and for the Heart

Offering your sweetie love, red wine, and chocolate for Valentine's Day may, indeed, help you score big in the heart department. But romantic and healthy gift giving need not be boring.

 

Below are some ideas from the health experts interviewed by WebMD to help get hearts pumping.

 

  • Give a fruit basket, or sign up your loved one for a fruit-of-the-month club that delivers fresh produce to doorsteps. Red fruits such a strawberries, cherries, and ruby red grapefruits are rich in antioxidants, says Sass.
  • Give your loved one a pedometer. It's a fun tool that can help your honey see his or her fitness progress. After all, exercise is good for the heart. Moores suggests setting up a date to walk together.
  • Take a field trip to do something with one another, rather than buying a material object. It's a chance to create a new experience or re-live an old one together, says Ellison.
  • Give a funny book, as humor is good for the heart, says Sass.

 

If you're still at a loss at what to give for Valentine's Day, fret not (stress is bad for your heart health).

 

"Whether it's a small box of chocolates, red roses, or it's time spent together, the point is to give a gift on Valentine's Day to somebody you care about," says Novak, reminding that the effort is what usually touches a person's heart.

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