Health benefits of marriage


January 26, 2015 is "National Spouse's Day." It's a day to think about all of the nice things your spouse does for you, including the health benefits he or she may provide.
Cleveland Clinic wellness expert Dr. Michael Roizen says research shows a partner can help when it comes to developing healthier habits.

"The two of you are supporting one another and you're rewiring your brains together," he said.

A recent study found women and men are more likely to stick with healthy behaviors if their partner does, too. Research published in the British Medical Journal shows marriage may affect many aspects of mental health by reducing depressive symptoms for both men and women. In addition, a Brigham Young University study found married people have lower blood pressure, while research out of Duke University Medical Center shows married people generally live longer.

Roizen says that's partly because healthy behaviors are infectious and we often mirror the behaviors of those closest to us.

"You're much more likely to walk if you have a buddy and you who walk together and a spouse, many times, is a great buddy," he said.

Roizen says the same theory applies to breaking a bad habit, too. If you want to quit smoking or eating unhealthy food, you should do it together.