hearthealthyAmid the pink Valentines, doilies, and boxes of chocolate, there are many ways to express your love for your sweetie. If you want to grow old together, it’s important to take care of your heart and encourage your loved one to do the same.

Here are some tips to keep your heart healthy on Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year. While you are taking care of your heart, you can use these tips to get closer to your special someone.

1. Brush Your Teeth
It may sound odd to focus on your mouth in order to take care of your heart, but studies have shown that there is a link between gingivitis and heart disease. The high levels of bacteria in the mouth can lead to heart disease and stroke if left to spread. So brush, floss and use mouth wash regularly to help keep your ticker in shape. Fresh breath and a clean mouth may also help prime your pucker for getting close to your significant other.

2. Indulge the Right Way
A little dark chocolate and red wine are packed full of antioxidants. Free radicals in your body can do damage to your cell walls and harm your heart, and antioxidants can bind up the free radicals before they do damage. Have a few sips of red wine and some quality dark chocolate over candlelight to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

3. Increase Your Heart Rate
Your body is one of the only machines that gets stronger with use. Regular cardiovascular activities can improve your respiratory and heart rate, essentially challenging your heart to work harder and become stronger. How you and your loved one decide to elevate your heart rate is up to the two of you…

4. Connect with Your Mate
Spending one-on-one time with your partner and engaging in regular contact can help lower your blood pressure and promote feel good hormones to release in your body. Calm and regular engagement with loved ones can keep you healthier and your immune system strong.