Friday, February 7, 2014

Give Your Heart Some Valentine's Day Love This February

It may be a few days shorter than any other month of the year, but February has a lot to offer. Not only is February officially known as Heart Month, but it also contains Valentine's Day. With so much focus and emphasis on the heart, it is time to take a look at what you can do to treat your heart right. With the hectic pace of the holiday season behind us, and the promise of warmer weather and more sunshine ahead, now is the perfect time to indulge in some heart-healthy tips and tricks.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it is useful to find a heart-healthy activity that you and your loved one can enjoy. Many couples enjoy massages, but did you know that a couple's massage can do more than just alleviate sore muscles and stiffness throughout the body? Research has shown that massages benefit the heart as well. The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine found that a good, thorough massage can help the heart by allowing blood to circulate more efficiently throughout the body. You will also benefit from a drop in blood pressure and a lower heart rate. If you want your partner to give you a massage more frequently, simply explain that regular massages play a role in reducing stress and associated problems such as cardiac arrhythmias.
If you want to treat your heart right, try eating well. Even small changes in your diet can have lasting impacts on your heart health. Fresh produce is great for maintaining a healthy heart because it clears out potentially harmful free radicals within the bloodstream while protecting blood vessels in the process. Other heart-healthy foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts, teas, and fatty fish. Treat your partner to a heart-healthy meal on Valentine's Day that both of you can enjoy.
Your heart is a muscle, and it needs to be exercised just like any other muscle in your body. If you already have a workout routine, invite your partner along for a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood after Valentine's Day dinner to get the blood flowing. Just a short walk can increase metabolism and will make you feel good all-around. Regular cardiovascular exercise has been shown to increase the strength of the heart. A stronger heart will work more efficiently, and it will pump more blood each time it beats, leading to an increased blood flow that carries more oxygen throughout the body.
The phrase "death by chocolate" is less frightening once you know that chocolate can be good for the heart. The Harvard Unive rsity School of Public Health concluded that chocolate has been linked to heart benefits such as increased blood flow, less frequent amounts of blood platelets sticking and clotting, and lower levels of bad cholesterol. Therefore, you should buy your sweetheart some chocolate this Valentine's Day - make sure you make an appointment for a couple's massage as well.

Taking small steps in the right direction can have very positive results. Reward your heart this month with some heart-healthy tips and tricks. Bring your partner along for Valentine's Day fun; you will have an enjoyable time with lasting health benefits.

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