Washington: A new study has revealed that your spouse is likelier to increase exercise levels if you do.
Research by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that if one spouse improves his or her exercise regimen, the other spouse is significantly more likely to follow suit, which suggests that a better approach to helping people boost their physical activity to improve health might be to counsel married couples together instead of individually.
Co-author Laura Cobb said that when it comes to physical fitness, the best peer pressure to get moving could be coming from the person who sits across from you at the breakfast table. There's an epidemic of people in this country who don't get enough exercise and they should harness the power of the couple to ensure people are getting a healthy amount of physical activity.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults should exercise at a moderate intensity for a minimum of 150 minutes per week or at a vigorous intensity for at least 75 minutes per week. Forty-five percent of husbands and 33 percent of wives in the study group met these recommendations at the first visit.
They found that when a wife met recommended levels of exercise at the first visit, her husband was 70 percent more likely to meet those levels at subsequent visits than those whose wives were less physically active. When a husband met recommended exercise levels, his wife was 40 percent more likely to meet the levels at follow-up visits.
Cobb added that everyone knows how important exercise is to staying healthy and this study tells them that one spouse could have a really positive impact on the other when it comes to staying fit and healthy for the long haul.