Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Married Life Can Be Good For Your Health!

I recently married the woman of my dreams... Kelley. She and I were together for over three years, and engaged for nearly two years, before we said our vows in front of family and friends. Between us, we are blessed to have eight children -- five daughters and three sons (she is the mother of three daughters and a son, and I am the father of two daughters and two sons). Six of our children are adults, while the two youngest girls are ages 10 and 13. Back in the late 1970's there was a television show titled "Eight is Enough" which  focused on the life of the Bradford family and the upbringing of eight children. For Kelley and I, eight is truly enough -- and I write that with a 53-year-old smile. Parenthood and step-parenthood is such a blessing!

Exchanging vows with Kelley was the most emotionally impacting moment of my life. There are certain moments in life that are forever etched onto your heart, such as the birth of your children, and for me I will never forget the profound love, joy and gratefulness I felt while exchanging wedding vows with Kelley. I have never experienced a more deeper, committed, loving one-on-one relationship with anyone than that which I have with my bride. The vow I made to her... said with my heart and echoed through my voice... is as follows:

I, Paul, take you, Kelley, to be my wedded wife;
to have and to hold from this day forward;
in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish;
for as long as we both shall live.

I have never been happier and I look forward to the wonderful memories to be made in our home over the coming decades. Did you know that marriage can actually impact your health? For instance, research from Johns Hopkins University reveals that when a wife begins to exercise more, her husband is 70 percent more likely to increase his activity; and, when a husband starts meeting recommended exercise goals, his wife is 40 percent more likely to join in.

In general, a good marriage enhances a person's health, because having someone you love and want to keep around encourages healthy behavior. It also provides important social support, which could explain why recent studies show that married couples are more likely to survive cancer and less likely to develop dementia or be hospitalized with pneumonia. A good marriage is good medicine! Here are just a few ways that a healthy marriage can inspire healthier living:

Improves you heart health

A nationwide study of patients of all ages found that married people are less likely to develop heart disease than those who are single, divorced or widowed. Spouses had a lower risk of a heart attack or stroke, regardless of their age or gender. Even married people with other risk factors -- such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity -- showed a lower rate of heart disease. The reason, say researchers, is people in happy, committed relationships experience less stress and conflict in their everyday lives.

Increases survival rates for illness or surgery

Although marriage won’t reduce your chances of getting cancer, it could affect your long-term prognosis and survival rate. Patients who are in a committed relationship when their cancer is diagnosed have a better survival rate than patients who are divorced or separated from their partners. In fact, a study found that among people diagnosed with cancer, the disease was more likely to be farther advanced for singles at the time of diagnosis, while married people were more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier stage. Similarly, happily married patients who have coronary bypass surgery are more than three times as likely to live 15 years longer than unmarried patients, according to a University of Rochester study. Researchers speculate that married patients are more likely than single patients to receive treatment, visit their doctor regularly, and eat a healthier diet because of the support and encouragement of their spouse or partner.

Increases emotional resilience

A Cornell University study found that people in committed relationships are more likely to be happier, have higher self-esteem, feel greater life satisfaction, and experience less stress or depression. Researchers say having a dependable partner helps people feel less isolated and better able to manage outside causes of stress.

As a newly married man who is completely happy and content, I can tell you that I agree that a healthy marriage enhances personal health. I am blessed beyond measure and wake up each day knowing, deep in my heart, just how blessed I am. My wife, Kelley, is my cherished gift and I am grateful for each and every day with her. Life is amazing, our marriage is wonderful, and the future is ours!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso