Remember when we told you earlier this week that experts say divorce leads to hair loss? Well now they’re telling us that marriage can lead to even more unhealthy consequences.
According to the Department of Health, married people are far less likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week than singletons or divorcees. In fact, 76% of married men and 63% of married women failed to meet these guidelines, while only 24% and 33% of single men and women respectively didn’t get the required exercise.
Dr. Len Almond who helped develop the exercise guidelines blames this on the fact that married people have less time than singles:
Because married people are often older and have more responsibility for children and other factors, it could be these responsibilities which are curtailing their activity patterns. Weekends are a golden opportunity to take the family out – especially for married families – to get out and enjoy a natural environment – which has also been shown to have additional benefits.
This study comes after another one recently which stated that married partners are twice as likely to be obese as someone who is single, suggesting that we “let ourselves go” once we get hitched. While this research isn’t really that surprising, it’s interesting to me that marriage is continued to be viewed as an unhealthy relationship in our society. I don’t think it’s necessarily that marriage itself is an unhealthy factor; it has more to do with finding the right partner.
When I met my husband, that’s when I became a runner. Then a marathoner. Then a triathlete. And after 19 years together, we are both in better shape now than when we first met. From what I have learned, it’s important to find someone who can continue to motivate and inspire you. Someone who shares a love of exercise and healthy eating. And also someone who is honest enough to let you know if you do start to “let yourself go”.
I believe that if your partner hates exercise, smokes, is overweight or likes only fast food, then you are facing an uphill battle when it comes to your health. But if you marry a guy who is interested in getting and staying healthy and who shares a love of exercise and sport, then you both can continue to get better as you get older–not fatter and lazier, as this study suggests.