Health Advocate Blog

The healthy effects of love

Ahhh, love…sweet love!  It’s Valentine’s Day, and while love might net you a bouquet of roses or box of heart-shaped chocolates today, those aren’t the best gifts love has to offer.  Did you know that love can improve your health in many ways?  Read on to find out how!

  • Love can reduce stress.  Happy couples produce less cortisol when they’re stressed, which is great news because cortisol often suppresses the immune system as well as encourages the body to store fat around the abdominal organs.  This fat is linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  As ironic as it may sound, love can actually reduce the likelihood of “love handles”!
  • Love increases oxytocin.  This hormone, often called the “cuddle hormone,” has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.  Studies show that people who get and give frequent hugs have lower blood pressure.
  • Love can reduce depression.  The rates of major depression are a whopping nine times higher in unmarried men than in married men.
  • Love can make you more physically fit.  If your snuggle buddy is also your gym buddy, great news–couples who exercise together have more success than those who exercise on their own.
  • Love can make you happier and mentally healthier.  People in love often have an increase in dopamine brain activity, which is linked to optimism and higher energy.
  • Love can make your skin appear healthier.  The endorphins released as a result of being in love can make skin appear to be glowing.  Better yet, these endorphins also increase blood flow to the skin, which can minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Love can improve your brain function and health. A Swedish study recently reported that living with your significant other is linked to a reduced risk of cognitive impairment.

From all of us at Health Advocate, we hope you and your loved ones have a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!