By Bronwyn Ison

Experiencing a healthier heart translates to a more positive and renewed you. With Valentine’s Day upon us, love is in the air. Red and pink, boxed chocolates, teddy bears, and ready made flower bouquets are omnipresent. Valentine’s Day is a catalyst to recognize whom we love and care for in our lives. Also, with an emphasis on love we should be taking care of our heart from a health perspective. Nurturing yourself, loving those near you and adopting a healthy diet … you are sure to have a happy heart.

When we love and feel loved it brings us joy. While we love year-round, Valentine’s Day provides everyone an opportunity to openly express gratitude and appreciation to someone special. Research tells us, seventy percent of people who purchase flowers on Valentine’s Day are men, while only twenty percent are women. Fifteen percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. You go girls! One hundred eighty nine million stems of roses are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day. Preparing a special day or evening for someone you care about propels the experience to be a rewarding one. You enjoy doing something unique for this special someone and your odds multiply to reap reciprocation.

Some of you may be single. This may be the perfect time to engage in a singles party for all of you who are ready to mingle. Singles parties on Valentine’s Day may not guarantee you falling in love, but you are certain to have a rewarding evening with friends. This surely trumps staying home alone and feeling sorry for your self.

While we may possess the need and desire to love and be loved, taking care of your heart with a healthy diet and mindset is also important. Stress is a silent killer. Stress is experienced concurrently every minute of our lives. A little stress is good for us. The American Heart Association tells us, Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Stress does not cause heart disease but it certainly does not help. Stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity, over eating and excessive use of alcohol.

It is also important to incorporate wellness into your life. You can manage your stress with a healthy diet and routine exercise. Maintaining a positive attitude is also an important factor. Here’s how you can begin. Assess your life as a whole. Do you have positive and nurturing people in your life? Remove anyone or anything that is a net negative effect to you. This will assure your experiencing less stress. Get on an exercise routine. Stick to it. Perhaps you need a workout partner to keep you motivated. Remove toxicities from you diet or daily habits. Smoking and drinking are simply ways of masking what needs to be addressed. Get your head in a healthy mental space. Get plenty of rest. Slow down. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Delegate.

A healthy heart, mind, body, and spirit will render your heart singing with joy this Valentine’s Day. Take care of your heart and it will love you in return.

Bronwyn Ison is the owner of Evolve Yoga. (760) 564-YOGA