We’re no strangers to love. You know the rules, and so do I! Rick Astley, with his famous “Never Gonna Give You Up,” was totally right. None of us are strangers to love. Whether it be giving love, receiving love or making love, we’ve all been at a point where we are interested in another human being enough to call it love.
From this feeling called love, romantic relationships emerge and can influence our lives in many ways. Let’s explore five ways romantic relationships can impact your heart health.
Romantic Love Improves Blood Pressure
One of the most significant benefits of having a healthy romantic relationship is the abundance of beneficial hormones you get whenever you’re with your significant other. Hormones such as oxytocin, endorphins and vasopressin all flood your system. These hormones, vasopressin especially, improve blood pressure, resulting in an overall healthier circulatory system.
When you have a healthy circulatory system, you can enjoy more out of life. For instance, you can appreciate a less restrictive diet and not feel bad about getting dessert when you’re out on a date with your significant other. You can also enjoy vigorous activities like hiking outdoors without having trouble catching your breath, which means you and your partner can go on all the adventures you want.
Romantic Love Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Couples in happy, healthy, loving relationships have been observed to have healthier hearts and a lower risk of heart disease. As it turns out, being in love reduces our stress responses and allows us to enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer more often.
Moreover, if you have a supportive and loving partner, you’re more likely to listen to them when they tell you to quit your bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking or when they tell you to take your medication or see the doctor. Having someone look out for your health will, of course, lower your risk for heart disease as well.
Natural Cardio from Being in Love
One of the best parts about having a significant other in your life is having your heart pound or skip a beat whenever they pass by or when you snuggle next to each other after a long day. But did you know that the zap of electricity you feel is also excellent for your heart?
Another fun way to keep your heart pumping is getting intimate with your partner. Love-making with your significant other is incredibly healthy for your heart because not only is it great cardio, but it also releases feel-good hormones like dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine afterward — all of which help your heart beat harder, faster and stronger. So go ahead and keep that heart rate up and the love meter high!
Stressful Relationships Are Bad for You
However, it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies in romantic relationships. When romantic relationships take a turn for the worst, it can cause stress for the parties involved. If this stress continues to accumulate over time, it can undeniably increase your risk for heart disease.
Even small amounts of stress can trigger circulatory problems such as poor blood flow. In addition, prolonged exposure to stress and increased cortisol levels can increase the risk of strokes. A toxic relationship doesn’t only affect your mental and emotional health, but it affects your physical health as well.
Remember to find a partner that will listen and communicate with you whenever turbulence hits your relationship.
As corny as it may sound, the broken-heart syndrome is a real thing that can happen when a romantic relationship ends on a gigantically negative note. Broken-heart syndrome, or medically known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, can occur when an individual undergoes a sudden shock or acute anxiety. The mental and emotional stress of having one’s heart broken can affect one in a dangerously physical way.
The immense emotional and mental stress can result in this disease, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. A severe case of this may eventually lead to heart failure.
So maybe romance and your physical heart do involve each other after all! Taking care of your heart does not always mean just exercise and physical activity, but rather taking care of it emotionally as well. Romantic love impacts your heart health just as much as exercise, so be sure to take care of your emotional well-being this love season!