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Get Healthy With Your Honey

happy senior couple exercising with hand weights

Editor’s Note: Guidelines on diet and physical activity are updated as scientific evidence continues to evolve. Please read the most recent recommendations here.

Are you thinking about making a healthy change in your life, such as quitting smoking, getting more physical activity, or losing weight? Getting your significant other to make the change with you can help you to be more successful, according to scientific research.

A study looked at data from almost 4,000 couples age 50 or older who were married or living together. It found that both men and women were more likely to make healthy changes if their partner made a change as well.

For example:

  • Among women who smoked, 50% quit smoking if their partner quit too, compared with 17% of women whose partners were already non-smokers, and 8% of those whose partners were smokers and didn’t quit. The numbers were similar for male smokers.
  • More than 60% of inactive men and women increased their physical activity after their inactive partner became active. This compared with only about 25% who increased their physical activity while their partner did not.
  • Among men and women who were overweight, having a partner who also lost weight was associated with about 3 times the likelihood of weight loss.

Making healthy choices can lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other diseases.

The American Cancer Society recommends:

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.