January 21: National Hug Day
1/20/2013 (Updated 10:52:39 PM)BINGHAMTON -- Most people know January 21 as Martin Luther King Day. But it is also National Hug Day.
Hugs-- they are a common gesture.
"I think it's important to hug because it shows affection and love..."
And Dr. Michael Lavin says hugs have great health benefits.
"It can help lower blood pressure. There's some data about it raising a certain hormone called Oxytocin, which we think may help people feel better," said Dr. Michael Lavin, Phsyciatric Director at Lourdes in Binghamton.
And he says hugs can elevate your mood.
"Having that physical connection with someone else can make you feel like you're not alone and it offers you a level of support," said Dr. Michael Lavin.
Moms, couples and friends-they all agree..
"It makes us a lot happier. It shows everyone we love each other..."
"I think it shows people that you care and it makes you feel good..."
"I don't want my kids to ever forget how much I love them. I always give hugs..."
Doctors say the more hugs the better. so how many do you give each day?
"Probably at least 10 times a day..."
"Everyday should be hug day..."
"About every day we hug each other,"
"We're always hugging and kissing..."
"We should start hugging more..."
Experts say the healthiest way to hug is to not just put one arm around your friend, but go for the full embrace-- and hold it for a moment.
"So go ahead, give a hug today. It may just keep the doctor away," said Dr. Lavin.
Samantha McDonald, Fox 40 HD News.
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