The first Valentine’s Day started during a Roman festival and people have been rushing to get flowers, chocolate, and other delightful trinkets ever since. The holiday’s namesake originates from the popular belief involving a Roman priest named Saint Valentine. When Emperor Claudius II banned marriages in 1477 in fear of married men making poor soldiers, Valentine continued to arrange marriages in secret. This resulted in St. Valentine being imprisoned which is where he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. On the day of his execution (February 14) he sent her a love letter signed with “from your Valentine”.
Luckily, the holiday has become more in-tune with spending time with the ones you love such as friends, spouses and other family members. As you celebrate the day of love and bonding, have you ever stopped to wonder what your heart thinks about all of this commotion?
How Love Affects Your Heart
Your heart is more than just a mass that pumps blood throughout your body in order to keep you alive. Just the rate of how fast or slow your heart is beating can indicate a good number of things, such as whether you’re at play or at rest. Plenty of people try to maintain a healthy heart by consuming so-called superfoods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and of course participating in a physical activity.
One thing that you might not have known that helps to improve your heart health (sometimes without even leaving your house) is just by loving someone. It doesn’t always have to be a romantic relationship, it can be any platonic relationship such as the bond between friends, family members, and even your four-legged companions. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, love lowers not only your blood pressure but your stress levels as well.
In a way, love acts like a natural drug to your body. When you love someone or someone loves you, oxytocin plays a major role in bonding and is released into your brain during certain scenarios. Oxytocin – often called the love or cuddle hormone – is a hormone that is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. The nickname of the cuddle hormone originated from the fact that oxytocin is produced when you are cuddling up to someone you share a bond with.
Love has also been said to improve the survival rate after undergoing surgery because of the social and moral support provided by people that you know. You may also experience positive effects from bonding with your pets due to their unconditional love for you.
When you are in a positive relationship it acts as a zone of tranquility that causes your blood pressure to react to positively, which in turn causes it to either decrease or stabilize over time. When you spend time with one of your loved ones, do you ever feel as though a wave of calmness and peace has washed over you? Using a pulse oximeter much like one of the AccuMed varieties can help you provide an accurate representation of how your heart performs both after finishing an activity or when you’re participating in rest and relaxation with someone you love.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the AccuMed family.