Why Valentine’s Day is good for your health
[Photo by Saied Shahinkiya from Photoxpress]
MANILA, Philippines - There’s more to Valentine’s Day than dinner dates, roses, Valentine cards, traffic jams, and a possible hole in your pocket.
Read on and you might just find yourself celebrating this day of hearts with more enthusiasm.
1) A time to hug, kiss, or simply hold…
Touching — whether it’s simply holding your lover’s hand or sharing a passionate kiss — boosts your immune system, helps relieve pain, and lowers blood pressure. During Valentine’s, exchanging hugs and kisses are not uncommon, especially for couples.
But the health benefit of touching need not be exclusive to those in a romantic relationship. Singles can get an immune booster from a relaxing massage. Hugs from friends and family are not bad, either. Cuddling with your pet dog or cat can work wonders, too.
2) …and to give and receive gifts!
You know that flowers, chocolates, Valentine cards, or any gift you give or receive this Valentine’s Day can make you feel good. This is backed by science.
Giving or receiving increases feel-good chemicals like serotonin — the happiness chemical — in your body. Insufficient serotonin levels are linked to depression, and getting enough serotonin improves your mental health.
3) ‘Tis the season of chocolates
Studies have shown that chocolate can be good for your health. Cacao, the fruit where chocolate comes from, is loaded with the antioxidant flavonoids. Reduced heart attack risk, decreased blood pressure, and lowered risk of diabetes are among the benefits attributed to this common Valentine treat.
While dark chocolate is touted as the healthiest chocolate, a study in Sweden found that a moderate amount of even milk chocolate reduces the risk of stroke. So, enjoy those chocolates from your lover, but share them with others.
4) A celebration (and strengthening) of love
Whether it’s a fancy dinner date or just having a movie marathon at home, Valentine’s Day is an occasion for couples to spend time together.
This ritual of couple time further cements a long-term relationship and strengthens a starting one, and helps you reap the health benefits of being in a stable romantic relationship like longevity, improved cardiovascular health, faster healing from wounds, and more.
You can even level up your couple time by traveling or trying something new together. This can increase feel-good chemicals, and can even kindle or rekindle attraction.
Just make sure that you are the object of your lover’s attraction — otherwise, you might suffer the same fate in a story Helen Fisher, anthropologist and author on the science of romantic love, tells at the end of her video about why people love:
So, whether you’re single or coupled up, make this Valentine’s Day a healthy one! - Rappler.com