Did you know that married individuals are more likely to live healthy and active lives if their spouse does the same? It’s true! Studies have shown that married people tend to eat healthier diets if their spouse does and this same pattern also applies to exercise.
- WHEN ONE SPOUSE EATS HEALTHIER SO DOES THE OTHER: A 2010 study from Harvard University found that married men are, in general, healthier than men who have never been married or those whose marriages have ended. Other studies have produced similar results. Those who have spouses who eat healthy and exercise regularly are significantly more likely to do the same themselves. There are a number of reasons for this. One reason is that marriage typically leads to sharing meals and activities together, as well as sharing social networks and financial resources. Eating together can naturally lead to a healthier diet for both spouses if one partner chooses to eat healthier food. The healthy diet of one spouse often “rubs off” on the other. The same is true for exercise. If one spouse spends Saturday afternoons hiking, cycling, jogging or playing a sport, the other spouse is much more likely to do the same in order to share this activity with his or her spouse.
- WHEN ONE SPOUSE EXERCISES SO DOES THE OTHER: Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, conducted a study that showed that in situations where one spouse increases physical activity, the other spouse is likely to follow. It showed that, in general, a spouse is between 40-70% more likely to meet his or her exercise recommendations if their spouse does. As a part of the study, spouses had two medical visits conducted about six years apart. On the first visit, about 33% of wives and 40% of husbands met physical activity recommendations (at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week). The second visit showed that the husband was 70% more likely to meet these physical activity guidelines if his wife met the guidelines on the first visit. A wife was 40% more likely to meet the guidelines on the second visit if the husband did on the first.
Making healthy life changes is easier when done with a partner. Spouses can provide support and encouragement. They can help out when one partner feels down or feels like making unhealthy choices. For example, a partner who is also trying to lose weight can help encourage his or her spouse and suggest that the two of them go for a jog together instead of sitting on the couch. This encouragement and motivation can inspire both spouses to be more active.
If you or your spouse need help with adopting a healthier lifestyle, whether it’s with diet or exercise, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healther Starts Here.