It’s been said that “a good marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short”. Perhaps it’s because of this companionship that getting hitched boasts such a bevy of health benefits. Recent research shows that married couples report higher level of happiness, better cancer survival rates, more sex, less loneliness, and longer lifespans than their single counterparts.
But, if these aforementioned long conversations are more likely to happen over an indulgent meal than a shared workout, beware. A 2016 study of nearly 2,000 married couples indicated one hefty downside to marriage: a larger waistline. Men in the study were nearly twice as likely to be obese, while both women and men that were married worked out less (approximately 47 minutes less per week) than their married counterparts.
So, what’s a health conscious but happily betrothed couple to do? As it turns out, there is a silver lining in all this. A study presented by Johns Hopkins researchers that analyzed the data of questionnaires completed by 3,261 middle aged couples 6 years apart. It showed that while married couples typically have overall lower exercise rates, it only takes one person to in the relationship to sway the trend in a positive direction. For example, if you (but not your spouse) breaks a sweat on a regular basis, your better half is up to 70% more likely to meet minimum exercise recommendations in the future–so long as you keep up the good work. This effect was maintained, regardless of whether the husband or the wife was the original fitness buff. Conversely, if either spouse gave up their exercise regimen, the other was more likely to follow suit. The implication is that your exercise behavior has an outsized impact on that of your spouse.
My partner still won’t exercise!
Sometimes, it seems that despite best intentions, it’s impossible to get your partner off the couch. Here are 5 ways to get moving together! Continue reading