A Healthy Heart Starts with Love

Health, Home & Family
on June 11, 2009

Beyond the warm fuzzy feelings, being in a loving relationship is healthy for your heart.

“People who are married or who are in close, positive relationships tend to be less likely to smoke, are more physically active and are more likely to have lower levels of stress and anxiety in their day-to-day lives,” says Dr. Julie Damp, a cardiologist at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Happy couples also have better blood pressure, according to recent research.

“We think that people who are in loving relationships may experience neurohormonal changes that have positive effects on the body, including the cardiovascular system,” Damp says.

If a person is in a stressful relationship or a bad marriage, their body is flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that can wreak havoc on the whole body. By contrast, people in happy, loving relationships are inundated with feel-good chemicals such as endorphins, which actually improve mood and physical health.

Related: Love: Tips & Expert Advice (YourTango.com)