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Gazing into your fireplace could make you healthier. We saw this story a while ago at HuffPost and had no trouble believing it. For many millennia, we’ve been hard-wired to use fire for warmth, food, protection. It just stands to reason that it helps us relax, too, right? It’s a perk of the job that we get to stare into hundreds of beautiful fireplaces — and fires. We need to start collecting some data on our blood pressure. If this is true, we should be among the healthiest folks in Lexington.

From the story:

Relaxing in front of a crackling fire (or at least the Netflix version) is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a cold winter evening. And now scientists know why. Watching a fire lowers blood pressure, according to new University of Alabama research. Our enjoyment of gazing at fire may be rooted in evolution, as the act of gathering around a fire dates back to prehistoric times. The researchers, led by anthropologist Christopher Lynn, asked 226 adults to watch a video of a fireplace, and took their blood pressure before and after watching the video. They also asked participants to report on their experiences of the fire. READ MORE