We at DSFIT2RUN often share ways to achieve physical fitness and nutritional health. However, it’s important we focus on EVERY aspect of what ultimately makes up a healthy lifestyle. One of those that we touched base on at our second annual F.R.E.S.H. Conference was the significance of the relationships in our lives. Although all relationships, whether with friends, family, or spouses all play a vital role in our lives, we want to focus on marriage in particular.

According to Harvard Health, there is a plethora of research that suggests married people “enjoy better health than single people.” Research shows that couples tend to live longer, have fewer strokes, are less likely to become depressed, and even have a higher chance of surviving a life changing or major operation. This list may seem surprising but it doesn’t mean that being married makes anyone better than the other. Clearly not every marriage is sunshine and rainbows. Many couples endure high levels of stress and can often be worse than what a single person may go through on a day to day basis. Interestingly enough, that list of health benefits from marriage pertains mainly to men!

Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the upsides of being in a healthy marriage. Harvard Health admits that much more research needs to be done, however, it is possible to link marriage and well being. For one, Harvard studies found that people in happy relationships have a stronger immune system and are sick less often. A different study showed that a married person’s behavior improves as well. For instance, you are more likely to eat better, keep regular doctor’s appointments, and listen to your doctor’s recommendations by having someone to hold you accountable. Lastly, studies indicated that mental health is improved when married. Bouts of depression, loneliness, and social isolation due to lack of strong outside support systems often effect single people. Again, it is important to mention that Harvard Health is naming these as simple links or theories between a healthy marriage and health benefits.