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Men Married to Smart Women Live Longer

By Dr. Mercola

A study has determined that for men, long life and good health have nothing to do with the man's education and everything to do with his wife's. Men married to smart women live longer.

The effect may relate to skill at processing advice about healthy lifestyles, and passing it on -- educated married women are more likely to share their good lifestyle habits.

These habits could include healthy food choice, exercise routines, and risk-avoidance.

After analyzing data on more than 1.5 million men and women, researchers from the Swedish Institute for Social Research found that men live significantly longer when they're married to, or living with, a woman who graduated from college.

The women's education level had an even greater impact on the men's lifespan than did their own!

Why would this be?

It is true that women traditionally have more responsibility for the family's home lifestyle, such as food choices, exercise habits and other daily activities. And this research suggests women may, in general, tend to make healthier lifestyle choices for their families than men would make on their own.

If we could think outside the box for just a moment we may find a bigger component to these findings. To be married to a woman with a high intellect can indeed stimulate a man and make him live longer, though perhaps it's through daily conversations and interactions and not just through his stomach. While the importance of diet and exercise cannot be emphasized enough, there is another crucial factor to a healthy lifestyle, and that is one's emotional state.

Previous studies have shown similar results that married men, in general, tend to be healthier, while widowed or divorced men eat fewer vegetables, drink more alcohol and are less likely to quit smoking than their married peers.

The message here isn't for men to run out and find a wife who will make the healthiest lifestyle choices for them. Nor is the message to run out and find anyone at all. But since the majority of men prefer to have a mate, it might pay off if they seek someone with whom they can have a healthy, strong, intellectual bond that keeps them alive for years to come!

Just How Important is Your Lifestyle?

There's a reason why Jack LaLanne looks better at age 93 than many people half his age. He's been a champion for a healthy lifestyle for decades now.

This is so important that if there were ONE step I could advise you to take to extend your lifespan, improve your energy, maintain an ideal weight, lower your risk of virtually every chronic disease, and increase your feeling of mental well-being, leading a healthy lifestyle would be it.

Of course, a healthy lifestyle is made up of many different parts. Think of it like building a house. If you have a solid foundation, four walls and a roof, you'll be able to survive. Add in plumbing, electricity and insulation and you'll not only survive but feel comfortable too.

Then add in the appliances, décor, furniture and touches that make it your own, and now you have a home that will nurture you in return for the extra work you put in. As with your body, the more you put in the more you will receive in the form of solid health and well-being.

You can get by with just the basics -- food, water, warmth -- but it's when all the pieces of a healthy lifestyle come together that you'll really reap the rewards.

And the rewards are well worth it. There are actually too many to list, but to give you an idea, a healthy lifestyle can:

  • Lower your risk Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease

  • Virtually eliminate your risk of cancer

  • Cut your diabetes risk in half

  • Protect you from heart disease and high blood pressure

  • Help balance women's hormones

  • Help you achieve your ideal weight

While you may not feel the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle immediately, in time health problems like diabetes, heart disease and others begin to surface. In fact, if you eat poorly for a long time, your DNA may become permanently altered, and the effects could be passed on to your children and grandchildren.

What this all points to is even more support for the emerging field of epigenetics, which is the study of how environmental factors like diet, stress and maternal nutrition can change gene function without altering the DNA sequence in any way.

In other words, you are born with a set of genes, but the expression of those genes is not set in stone. Your genes can be either activated or silenced by various factors including your diet and even your mind. It is not your genes that dictate your future health, but rather the expression of those genes that matter.

By leading a healthy lifestyle, you are helping your genes to express themselves in a positive, disease-fighting way.

For those of you who haven't been leading a pristine lifestyle so far, there's good news too. If you switch to a healthy lifestyle now, it can have a positive impact on your health down the road.



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