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15 Reasons Married People Live Longer

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15 Reasons Married People Live Longer

It’s something that’s baffled scientists for decades — people who are happily married actually live longer than people who are single or divorced. Some science backs this up. And though there’s also some science out there that doesn’t back this up, it’s easy to see that there are some lifestyle factors characteristic of married couples that might help a person to live a longer life.

Social Support System

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Social Support System

Having a person who consistently supports you in your endeavors can go a long way in helping you succeed. “Being socially integrated and having a strong network promotes health by fostering a sense of identity, purpose and control,” psychologist and author Jamie Gruman explained to The Active Times. “It helps to be around people who reward us for healthy behaviors such as eating well and scold us for unhealthy behaviors such as drinking too much alcohol.” In the long run, being encouraged to take care of yourself and receiving the social reinforcement from others improves your health in a number of ways. This social support is especially effective when it comes from family, such as a spouse, rather than a friend, studies show.

More Activities

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More Activities

You’re more likely to put yourself out there and try new things if you have someone you can rely on to go with you! “Married people tend to spend more time together and participate in more activities together,” Gruman explained. He expressed that being married and participating in new activities with a companion “helps to reinforce the enjoyment we derive from experiences.”

Shared Resources That Improve Quality of Life

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Shared Resources That Improve Quality of Life

Resources such as money, insurance, and personal belongings improve quality of life and can lead to lower stress levels. When these resources are shared, you’re more likely to have access to a greater amount of resources — and feel less stress from burdens such as chores, bills, and other responsibilities.

Lower Stress Levels

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Lower Stress Levels

“Having a constant in your life, such as being married, does wonders to your stress levels,” Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, told The Active Times. “Coming home to a stable relationship has proven to decrease anxiety levels in married couples.” Stress can have all kinds of effects on your health, including increased blood pressure and lowered immunity. By keeping each other calm, married people help their spouses live longer!

Healthier Diet

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Healthier Diet

Restaurant meals come laden with extra fat and calories and often lack nutritional value. Of course, this isn’t always the case, even at fast food restaurants — but eating fewer meals out can do wonders for your health. “Singles eat out with their friends more frequently, whereas married couples have a dinner to go home to,” said Backe. “This means being married ensures healthier eating habits.” Some of that depends on what kinds of foods these couples are eating at home — these healthy dinner recipes are a great place to start!

Emotional Support

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Emotional Support

Don’t underestimate one of the most obvious perks of companionship: emotional support. “Being married automatically means you have a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen,” Backe explained. “It’s basically like having an at-home therapist. While singles have to wait for their friends to be available for them to off-load, married couples come home and are free to vent to their hearts’ content.”

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

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Lower Risk of Heart Disease

According to a study from 2018, people who are married are both less likely to experience heart disease and less likely to die from heart disease once they have it. Turns out that finding your lifelong partner is good for your heart in more ways than one!

Increased Happiness

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Increased Happiness

This is, of course, assuming you’re in a healthy and happy marriage. While unhappy relationships can cause your health to suffer in the long run, a joyful marriage can help you live longer. “More joy and less trouble, biologically speaking, means fewer stress hormones in your body and less wear and tear on your system, which keeps you going stronger, longer,” explained Raffi Bilek, couples counselor and director of the Baltimore Therapy Center. Not to mention all the incredible health benefits of happiness!

Cooking More Often

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Cooking More Often

People who are married tend to cook meals at home more often. Cooking can improve your brain function and increase the likelihood that you’re eating nutritious foods.

Drinking Less Alcohol

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Drinking Less Alcohol

Married couples tend to drink less than people who are unmarried, according to some studies. We probably don’t need to tell you this, but here it is: Drinking a lot isn’t good for you. In fact, some research shows that every extra drink over the recommended limit can shave time off of your life.

Companionship

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Companionship

Those who spend too much time alone can actually increase their risk of early death, according to a study from 2012. Loneliness really can kill you; married couples are inherently less likely to be lonely.

Physical Health Checks

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Physical Health Checks

Since spouses spend so much time together, they’re more likely to check in on each other’s physical health. Signs and symptoms that people might otherwise ignore aren’t as likely to go unnoticed. Catching dangerous symptoms early can save a person’s life!

More Sit-Down Dinners

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More Sit-Down Dinners

Sitting down for dinner with others can help you to live a longer and happier life. Studies show that people who often eat alone actually have a greater risk of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to earlier death. Family meals make a big difference! And the fact is, married couples are more likely to sit and eat together than a single person is likely to eat with a companion.

Smoking Less

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Smoking Less

Studies show that married couples are actually less likely to smoke than people who are single. Since smoking has undeniable long-term negative effects on your health, it’s no mystery as to why this helps people live longer.

Improved Cancer Survival Rate

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Improved Cancer Survival Rate

According to a study published in the journal Cancer, married couples are more likely to survive a cancer diagnosis than those who are single. Some scientists hypothesized that these results were largely due to the social support cancer patients receive from their spouses during treatment. But the fact is, there are all kinds of factors that can contribute to your risk from cancer. Even your diet can play a huge role in whether or not you get cancer and your health during treatment.