The royal wedding is done. Now the royal marriage starts. We wish Harry and Megan will live happily ever after.
Seriously, marriage is very important for our happiness. It can change our life in positive or negative ways.
Because marriage plays a big role in our happiness, it is also important for our mental health.
A good marriage can reduce our stress, provide us warmth and support, and always remind us what is important in life.
Marriage can affect our physical health too. Recent studies show that a happy marriage can protect the heart from diseases.
One Yale study involving 620 married fathers in the UK shows men who reported that their marriages flourished over time also experienced improvements in several cardiovascular disease risk factors.
These risk factors include body mass index (BMI) and blood cholesterol levels in the body. Consistently happy married men had much less risk than and unhappy married men.
In addition, those who marriage deteriorated over time had higher risk of high blood pressure.
A happy marriage can also help people live longer.
One study in 2011 followed men and women aged 25 years and older from the mid-1980s to the end of the 1990s.
Researchers found that those who were happily married tended to live longer than those who were unhappily married. That effect was especially true for men.
Another review study published in 2014 examined the link between marriage and physical health over the past 50 years in more than 72,000 people.
The authors found that happier marriages were associated with better health conditions, such as fewer severe diseases and less chronic pain.
A happy marriage is also linked to lower risk of dementia.
One recent study from Boston University examined the risk factors of dementia in later life. They focused on the influences of BMI, marriage, sleep and aging.
The result showed that a marital status of ‘widowed’ was strongly related to high risk of dementia.
Dementia is the leading cause of dependence and disability in the elderly population worldwide. Currently there is no effective medication to treat dementia.
Why is marriage so important for our health?
Researchers suggest that couples in happy marriages are more likely to help their partners start and maintain a healthy habit.
On the contrary, when people feel socially rejected from a close relationship like marriage can have higher levels of pro-inflammatory proteins that trigger inflammation in the body.
Higher levels of inflammation for a long time can cause many chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
While a happy marriage can help your health, it may also increase your body weight, especially if you are a man.
This is because marriage leads to more social occasions involving richer foods, or more regular meals for men.
If you want to avoid BMI increases, you need to be mindful about what and how you eat your meals.
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