It turns out love really could be all you need to live a long and healthy life.
We all know that being in love feels amazing. A great relationship at any age makes us feel good. It helps us to feel happier every day. But did you know that being in a loving relationship as you age could make you healthier or even mean that you live longer? Whether you have been together for 50 years or 5 months, a satisfying relationship could be the key to ongoing health and happiness. We took a closer look at the studies and research that proves love really is enough to keep you feeling amazing.
Explore the results below and spread a little extra love today.
Could love improve your heart health?
It seems that love is not only good for your emotional heart but for your physical one too. There have been a range of studies that connect happiness in a relationship with better cardiovascular health. A University of Pittsburgh study found that women in happy marriages had a much lower risk of heart disease than women in unhappy relationships. And it looks like men experience similar effects, with a study out of Tel Aviv University (in collaboration with the American National Heart and Lung Institute) finding a reduced risk of angina amongst men who felt ‘loved and supported’. Research from the University of North Carolina discovered it could be the expressions of love that has the most impact on heart health, concluding that regular hugs lower blood pressure.
Is a little bedroom action good for your body and soul?
It turns out that what happens under the sheets could have a direct impact on your overall health. Regular sex is one of the best things couples can do to maintain cardiovascular health as they age and a small-scale study in 2006, by the University of Paisley, found that couples who had regular sex dealt with stress better. It’s not only stress that sex could be beating, a study by the author of ‘Feeling Good Is Good For You’ found that regular sex also heightened immune response. Suggesting that a good relationship and regular intimate time could protect you from disease. If you do suffer from heart disease or any heart problems, its best to check in with a doctor before upping your couple time in the bedroom.
Will a happy relationship help you live longer?
Research has proved time and time again that a good relationship has a positive impact on lifespan. Meaning that those who pursue relationships in later life could be adding years to their life. A long-term study from Harvard tracked the health and wellbeing of over 700 men from Boston. They found, surprisingly, that the number one variable for continued health, happiness, and a long-life span was feeling and expressing love. Another Harvard study had even more shocking statistics, they found that married women were 20% less likely than unmarried women to die of stress-related illnesses, while married men were 100 to 200% less likely to dies of stress-related illness! These are some pretty shocking statistics! A further study by UCLA found that singles had a ‘significantly higher’ death rate than married couples. It seems love is not only keeping us together, it’s keeping us alive!
Can love protect me from certain diseases?
This is a big question but there is strong evidence, that yes, being in love can keep you healthier. Married couples have lower cancer rates than single people, suffer from less stress, and are less likely to suffer from stress-related disease like ulcers and heart attacks. People in happy relationships can also expect their immune systems to be stronger than their single counterparts. But why is this? One theory is that love promotes the production of oxytocin, sometimes called ‘the hormone of love’ which helps us to bond with others and could have beneficial effects on our wider health.
Can love really make me look younger?
Another surprising benefit of the love bug could be that it keeps us looking our best, even as we age. Seeing the person we love can help to raise our adrenalin levels, giving us that tell-tale ‘glow’. While just being in love can improve your blood pressure and your blood flow, helping oxygen and vital nutrients get to the skin; keeping you looking fresh-faced and healthy. There is even research that suggests regular sex could knock an astonishing 5 to 7 years off the age you look. Dr David Weeks, former head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, says that keeping busy under the sheets encourages the release of feel-good and growth hormones, causing your skin to become more elastic and look younger. Has there ever been a better excuse for a romantic night in?
Can being in love help me feel healthier?
Yes! It’s not just about what your test results and your doctor says. Research shows that being in love also increases our sense of wellness as we age. Helping us feel good on top of looking great and enjoying better overall health. A study of 3000 American men and women, aged between 57 and 85, showed they rated their own health more highly if they were part of a close romantic relationship. The study, by the University of Chicago, found that emotional and social wellbeing, along with regular sex, boosted participant’s sense of wellbeing.
Can Love Help Me Make Healthier Choices?
People in close romantic relationships aren’t just intrinsically healthier. In fact, research shows that being part of a couple can help people make healthier choices every day. From stopping smoking to eating better food, exercising more, and drinking less alcohol, it seems a close loving relationship can impact almost every area of lifestyle. One 2005 study even describes the overall health benefits of marriage as comparable to giving up smoking! That’s an incredible claim and one that could impact millions of people around the world.
Does it have to be romantic love?
No. Love between friends or family members can both have a positive effect on your overall wellbeing and health. Romantic love is great as it allows lots of opportunities to express and receive love, but that doesn’t mean other relationships can’t have a hugely positive impact on your life. Even if we don’t understand exactly why this is. In fact, an Australian study conducted by Flinders University and the University of Adelaide looked at a group of 1500 over 70s and found that those with fewer friends did not live as long as those with strong friendship circles. There are many types of love and it seems we should embrace as many as we can to live our fullest and healthiest life.
Sold on love yet? Perhaps you are looking for a new relationship as an older single? It can be daunting to jump back into the dating scene over 50 but there has never been a better time to look for your perfect match. And there are thousands of people out there, just like you, looking to reconnect and enjoy the benefits that a loving relationship can bring. Log on at 2seniors today to start your search for a loving partner and, perhaps, improve your health and happiness.