To lower cholesterol and improve your heart health, you need to eat well, exercise, not smoke, manage other health conditions, sleep, reduce stress, and manage your weight. Or, you can be part of a happy marriage and still experience benefits that help improve your cholesterol and heart health.
A study uncovered that men in a strong marriage were more likely to have healthier cholesterol and blood pressure. The study looked at over 600 British men who rated the quality of their marriages at two points of their lives—when their child was three and again at the age of nine. Descriptions of marriage included consistently good, consistently bad, improving, or deteriorating.
After 12 years, the participants health was measured such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar, which are all possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Men who reported their marriage as improving saw better cholesterol readings and healthier weight whereas those who reported their marriages were deteriorating had worsened health outcomes.
Men who reported consistently good or consistently bad marriages saw little change in their health, as researchers suggest it may be related to habituation in the couple’s situation.
Although the study is an observational one, it cannot conclude that a poor marriage will result in poor health. It does lend way to suggest that improving one’s marriage—such as going to therapy—may also have a positive effect on health too.
Granted, not every marriage is perfect and it takes hard work and effort to accommodate someone else’s needs. And that goes both ways. We hear a lot of talk about increasing divorce rates and infidelity while married, which makes young people not want to get married.
But we all know in the recesses of our minds that choosing to spend your life with another human being doesn’t happen on a whim. It can take years to really get to know a person and what it takes to make us happy.
This happiness in marriage has now been linked to being healthier.
A study following 700 couples for a 20-year period found that each partner’s health can be affected by both positive and negative interactions at all stages of marriage.
The researchers of the study believe that health benefits from marriage can be strong enough to improve your health throughout your years as a couple. Having an engaging partner can lift spirits and improve well-being, helping to promote stress relief.
Those in happier marriages were more likely to give their health a higher rating as they aged.These health benefits go even further, according to the researchers, as they state that aging adults whose physical health is on the decline can also see a positive effect from improving their marriage.
Marital relationships can be an important part of your treatment plan. When your partner knows and understands the health issues you are facing, it can promote at-home management and improve the health of both partners—a definite plus for aging adults.
Keeping your significant other happy is something we should strive for. Happiness has long been associated with leading a healthier life, and your partner is a big part of that.