Valentine’s Day is not all about mushiness, flowers and chocolates, for now a new research has shown that Cupid’s magic works as far as the health of your heart is concerned.
Women in happy marriages are much less likely to have a heart attack than those in high-stress relationships, research at the University of Pittsburgh, in the US, found.
And men who have sex two or more times a week halve their risk of a cardiac arrest, a study at Bristol University found.
Hugs lower your blood pressure while making love is a great cardiac workout. <b1>
It temporarily raises blood pressure and gives the arteries and veins a workout, keeping them strong and flexible.
Cathy Ross, a specialist nurse with the British Heart Foundation, says: “Obviously everyone is different — but sex can provide the same benefits as walking up several flights of stairs.”
And it’s a lot more fun — which means we’re more likely to stick with the exercise regime.
We burn on average 200 calories when we have sex. But trying out different positions can increase the burn and fun. The greatest benefit goes to whoever is on top.
HUGS also help. Doctors at the University of North Carolina, in America, found cuddles can lower blood pressure and boost levels of the relaxing feelgood hormone oxytocin.
Researchers asked couples to sit together and talk for ten minutes then share a big bear hug.
Tests taken minutes later showed small drops in their blood pressures and increased oxytocin.
Professor Kathleen Light, who led the study, found that if hugs were repeated, women with the highest blood pressures showed drops that matched the effects of some hypertension medicines.
“Infections can contribute to heart disease and some experts now believe the inflammation they trigger may be more dangerous than high cholesterol. <b3>
Kissing is also recommended for gums and teeth because it increases production of saliva, which helps kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
In the long term this can even help to head off a heart attack because gum disease can increase the risk of heart attacks.