What are the health benefits of staying married?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Marriage is like the Internet: When it works, it's brilliant. But when there's a glitch in a happy marriage, it makes you feel crazy because you know how good it can be. For those inevitable moments in even the best marriages . . . when you wonder, "Why did I get married?" here's a short remember-why-marriage-is-great-for-you list:
  • You enjoy life more, have lower blood pressure, and are healthier overall. Why is being happily married so healthy? One biggie: You give each other emotional support through good times and bad, which makes your bodies run better. Another: You encourage each other to see a doc when you should.
  • You'll live longer. Marriage extends guys' warranty for a long life by as much as 30%, and women's by 20%. Why? For both sexes, marriage cuts down on wild-and-crazy behavior.
  • You won't gain a lot of post-divorce weight. This is a bigger threat for guys. Divorce can act as a "weight shock" for some men, triggering big-enough weight gains to cause health problems.
  • You get some of your best exercise in bed. A mere 25 minutes of sex -- figure 10 minutes of foreplay, 15 minutes for the main event -- burns 88 calories if you're a 150-pound woman; 106 calories for a 180-pound guy. That's what you'd expend doing a light workout on a rowing machine or stationary bike. Arriving at the Big O? It gets your heart pounding as much as bounding up a tall flight of stairs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.