Get Healthy Together: Lifestyle Changes Are More Successful When Couples Do It Together

Lose weight togetherContributed by: Angela Fitch, MD, Director of Medical Weight Loss, Associate Professor of Medicine

Living a healthy life is challenging whether you’re trying to lose weight, stop smoking, or eat healthier. Not everyone can or prefers to take on the “get healthy” journey alone and that’s a good thing according to a new study.

The findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that men and women are more likely to become healthier if their domestic partner makes a healthy change as well. Researchers found that married, or cohabiting, couples who have a ‘healthier’ partner are more likely to change their lifestyle than those whose partner has an unhealthy lifestyle. The study also revealed that for both men and women having a partner who was making healthy changes at the same time was even more powerful.

“It comes down to support. Whether you’re changing your lifestyle for the better or maintaining it, having someone to encourage and challenge you along the way, really helps motivate men and women, “said Angela Fitch, MD and Director of Medical Weight Loss at the Women’s Center.

So what about those who don’t have a domestic partner? Who do they turn to for help with lifestyle changes?

“Whether you’re married or single, young or old, male or female, having someone there, physically or emotionally, is usually sought when trying something new especially if it involves living a healthier life. Starting a gym or nutritional routine or quitting tobacco products is scary and extremely difficult for many but there is available help outside the home for everyone,” said Fitch.

To get started with living a healthier life, I recommend trying some or all of these options:

  • Participate in a FREE Medical Weight Loss or  Surgical Weight Loss information session either in-person or online.
  • Take an exercise or Integrative Medicine class. Our Integrative Medicine providers offer yoga, Pilates and tai chi classes throughout the year.
  • Get a professional trainer. Most gyms have trainers available (at cost) for individual sessions or hire a private trainer that will come to your home.
  • Join the UC Health Weight Loss program at the Women’s Center. Our comprehensive weight loss program offers three options for your medical weight loss needs. We will help you determine which plan is best for you to achieve long-term success.  Attend one of our informational sessions to learn more.
  • Schedule an appointment with a nutritionist (registered dietician) at the Women’s Center. Our nutritionists help with several conditions including weight loss and work with you to develop a healthy eating plan that serves you now and in the future.
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