The world we live in every day plays an important role, for good or ill, in our overall health. That’s why getting healthier as a couple may seem kind of like common sense to some people. Our environment is one of the greatest factors in our level of health. Genes play a part to be sure, but cutting down on starchy foods, for example, is a lot harder when you see them on every other plate at the dinner table. Getting your significant other to start healthy habits alongside you can help produce better results than going solo.
“Unhealthy lifestyles are a leading cause of death from chronic disease worldwide. The key lifestyle risks are smoking, excess weight, physical inactivity, poor diet, and alcohol consumption,” says Jane Wardle, a professor and director of Cancer Research UK’s Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London, “Swapping bad habits for good ones can reduce the risk of disease, including cancer.”
Wardle is the lead author on a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that examined exactly what effects getting healthy had when done alone or with others. They looked at data gathered from almost 4,000 couples over the age of 50 as part of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA).
They found that a partner who was already healthy increased the chances for success in each area studied: quitting smoking, losing weight and eating better.
Oddly enough, the study also found that the odds were even better. when a couple, both of whom had been previously unhealthy, started healthy habits together.
Of course, there are a lot of possible reasons for this: having the added support of someone you live with, someone to keep you motivated, someone to help fight off cravings or to motivate you to go to the gym. It’s a great idea to partner up with someone, or join a group, even if you’re single. Someone like a workout buddy is a great benefit to everyone.
According to Olumia Life Chief Scientist, Dr. Steve, “Perhaps the biggest advantage in having a workout partner is that it makes working out more fun. Having someone you can laugh with, kid around with, or sometimes even compete with helps to keep the gym fresh and interesting…You can transform it from something that’s a chore into something you actually look forward to.”
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