Valentine's Day. It's the day of the heart and everything associated with this most vital organ – love, longing, health. That thumping organ in your chest is the veritable timekeeper – and emotional center – of your life.
Following is a list of heart-healthy ways to celebrate Valentine's Day and American Heart Health Month.
- On Feb. 25, the Center for Women’s Health Research will host a Let’s Talk community lecture about keeping your heart healthy and protected. Experts at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will teach you about differences for men and women in cardiovascular disease, including symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and pharmacological treatments. Register today for Guarding Your Heart: Cardiovascular News You Can Use.
- Thinking of taking date night up a notch with a cooking lesson? Check out the Culinary Medicine Cooking Classes offered by the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. Classes are free for members and just $8 for nonmembers. Upcoming sessions include chicken tzatziki bowls inspired by the Mediterranean diet (Feb. 18) and diabetes-friendly mushroom Bolognese over spaghetti squash (Feb. 25). All classes are taught by registered dieticians and include plenty of tasty samples.
- Dog owners are 36% less likely to develop heart disease – not that we needed more reasons to love our furry friends! Walking your dog can add up to 2,760 steps per day, and even petting a dog for just five minutes can help lower blood pressure. Whether or not you have a dog, here are some canine-inspired tips from our partners at UCHealth to keep your heart healthy.
- Researchers at CU Anschutz have discovered why intense light can protect cardiovascular health. Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD, and his team found that intense light activates the PER2 gene, which bolsters blood vessels and offers protection against heart attacks. While more research is needed, Eckle believes that his findings could help future patients by leading to the use of intense light therapy before surgeries to protect against fatal injuries to the heart muscle.
- What says love and comfort better than a bowl of chicken soup? Bill St. John, a contributor to UCHealth, shared five heart-healthy and heart-warming variations of chicken soup from around the world. You can also top off your dessert with his recipe for homemade chocolate sauce, which includes information on the health benefits of chocolate.
- Finally, to give your heart and overall wellness a boost, make a gift today to support education, care and research at CU Anschutz! Don’t just take our word for it – researchers at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley have found a number of health benefits from giving, from reducing blood pressure to increasing the “love hormone” oxytocin and beyond.
Guest contributor: Emily Lefferts, philanthropic liaison, CU Anschutz Medical Campus