Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
Tis the month of red hearts. People are encouraged to wear red during National Heart month as a tribute to those that have battled heart disease. And tomorrow, millions of flowers, candy, and gifts will be exchanged between loved ones in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron saint, Saint Valentine is shrouded in mystery. One of the martyrdom stories is an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. Legends vary including a story of his restoring sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Later accounts relate more directly to the theme of love claiming he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution.
The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on Feb. 14. The date became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 18th century England, it grew to an occasion to express love.
Fast forward centuries and a lot hasn’t changed in how we celebrate the day with those we care about. So what is the tie in with health? Interestingly, couples often share the same health and risk factors. According to Healthline, researchers believe this trend is because people often couple with those that have similar traits and interests. Things such as socioeconomic background, diet, and lifestyle choices are often what binds a couple.
A study led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston looked at 5,000 couples. Results indicated 79 percent fell into a “non-ideal” category for cardiovascular health, unhealthy diets and getting inadequate exercise for both parties. Study results indicate how important it is that couples work together toward a healthier lifestyle.
Sometimes this is easier said than done as people don’t always think the same way about health or how they want to deal with it. The first step is to start. Do it yourself and invite your loved one on the journey. Make a plan that makes sense to both of you. It may be something as simple as a walk every night after dinner.
People often fail at making health changes because they try to make a lot of big changes all at once. While in some chronic or significant health cases that may be necessary, for most, taking small steps forward can be more productive.
For example, right now many people are stressed. What do we do when we are stressed? We tend to reach for comfort foods that aren’t great for us, give ourselves permission to spend more time on our devices, commit to the couch rather than pushing ourselves to get up and move around, and more. We’ve all been there.
Couples who work together to get healthy have more success. The best way to be successful is to communicate on how you will move forward together to achieve your health and lifestyle goals.
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