Don’t worry I haven’t gone completely soft but I feel that Valentine’s Day didn’t get it’s due this year, taking a backseat to the Olympic Winter Games. With most people celebrating their country and not their relationship.
What does Valentine’s Day have to do with weight loss and physique transformations? As you’ll see…..plenty! This isn’t a post reminding you to celebrate your lover (or lovers) but rather to point out the health implications for an individual blessed with finding love. What are the physical and psychological benefits of having that elusive and all too human emotion…Love?
Most studies that attempt to uncover the effect of love on people are usually performed on married couples but I think we can assume that any long term relationship; with a partner, parent, or friend would yield similar results. So without further ado….Here are 5 ways to boost your weight loss simply by loving another human being……
1. Better Stress Management
One of the most important components in any weight loss plan is the support. If you’re facing a setback and you’ve got the support of someone who loves you, you can cope better. We shouldn’t forget that dieting and exercise are stresses on the body and they really can accumulate over time making you feel like your operating in low gear. A passionate relationship relieves tension, reduces negative energy and produces a sense of well being . There is also an increase in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) hormone production from the adrenaline glands that act as a stress killer.
2. Lowerd Blood Pressure
Some people, especially those with weight problems can have high blood pressure and therefore must exercise at a lowered intensity to be considered safe. This can make losing weight a much slower process for them than those who have acceptable blood pressure levels. According to a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, happily married people had the best blood pressure, followed by singles. Unhappily married participants fared the worst. Reis says this study illustrates a vital aspect of the way marriage affects health. “It’s marital quality and not the fact of marriage that makes a difference,” he tells WebMD. This supports the idea that other positive relationships can have similar benefits. In fact, singles with a strong social network also did well in the blood pressure study, though not as well as happily married people.
3. Fewer Incidence of Illness
Something I’ve observed over the years in working with overweight clients is how easily and predictably that can become sick within their first 4 weeks of a diet an exercise program. Obviously if your sick all the time it’s difficult to progress and maintain your motivation on the plan. Now I don’t think this is a result of being single but more to do with their low level of conditioning and intolerance to change that makes their bodies rebel. I believe however, that if loving relationships can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression — these factors alone may give the immune system a boost. Let’s face it …if your overweight chances are your riding an emotional roller-coaster of highs (eating and drinking) and lows ( the guilt and anxiety of getting fatter). Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that people who exhibit positive emotions are less likely to get sick after exposure to cold or flu viruses. The study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine, compared people who were happy and calm with those who appeared anxious, hostile, or depressed. If loving someone can help keep from being sick you’ll be more likely to stay on track to your weight loss goals.
4. Better blood circulation
If your overweight then optimal circulation is probably not one of your attributes. Exercise and a proper diet will help this but you might want every edge you can to get the most out of your program. When talking to someone you find attractive, your brain sends impulses to the heart making it pound faster than normal; this results in increased blood supply to the body, improved circulation and efficient working of all organs. This also may aid in muscle recovery from exercise and allow key nutrients to be absorbed faster and more readily in the body which is very important. More nutrients + more workout (from increased recovery) = more results.
5. Pain Relief
Many people can be derailed on an exercise plan due to injury or pain. This is in part due to incompetent or absent professional instruction where inappropriate exercise prescription are used. There may also be pre-existing pain in the joints from arthritic conditions brought on by years of inactivity and joint stress from being overweight. Being intimate with a loved one can lower levels of “arthritic pain, whiplash pain and headache pain,” according to Dr. Beverly Whipple, president-elect of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Hormones that are released during sexual excitement and orgasm can elevate pain thresholds which has obvious benefits for maintaining motivation in your exercise program. If your constantly in pain you want want to move, if you can’t move you’ll eat.
Love is much more than chemicals and hormones. If you are a person who is conscious about health and wellness, learn to love deeply and sincerely. If you are depressed or anxious, get treatment. Do things that are challenging and exciting with your loved one on a regular basis and celebrate each other accomplishments.
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