The Healthy Side of Coupling

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Adopting a healthier lifestyle is easier if your lovey is on board. According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, people who started a good habit were more likely to stick to it if their partner did it with them.

Researchers from UCL (University College London) studied 3,722 couples, ages fifty and up who were married or in live-in relationships. They discovered that fifty percent of women who smoked were able to quit if their partner quit as well. They also found that men were more likely to take up a physical activity or eat healthfully if their significant other joined them.

It is well known that lifestyle choices play a major role in the onset of chronic disease. “Unhealthy lifestyles are a leading cause of death from chronic disease worldwide,” says Professor Jane Wardle, one of the study’s authors. As the Director of Cancer Research UK’s Health Behavior Research Centre at ULC, Wardle has made a career out of studying the link between the choices we make and the illnesses we experience.  “The key lifestyle risks are smoking, excess weight, physical inactivity, poor diet, and alcohol consumption,” she explains.” Swapping bad habits for good ones can reduce the risk of disease, including cancer.”

Takeaway Tip: Let your partner know you need support in meeting your goals and then set a date to kick off your new healthy habit. If they’re not interested, ask a friend.

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