Want to Live Longer? Find New Friends!

Most people understand that eating well, exercising regularly and not smoking cigarettes can add years to your life.  What is less well known is the positive impact that having friends can have on lifespan. Recent research has studied the effect of social interaction on health and lifespan with surprising (and encouraging) results.

Modern society is focused on improving the quality and quantity life. There are enormous industries addressing diet and exercise fads of every kind. Without question, eating well, remaining fit and abstaining from dangerous behaviors such as cigarette smoking or excessive alcohol consumption will all support a long, happy life. Obesity and cardiopulmonary diseases are growing threats that deserve everyone’s attention. But now a study has shown that friends can be as important to your life as a low-fat diet or kicking that cigarette addiction.

In a research report published in the July 2010 issue of the Public Library of Science (a peer-reviewed journal that does not charge its readers for access) measured the impact of social interaction and mortality.  Professors Julianne Holt-Lunstad (Brigham Young University), Timothy B. Smith (Brigham Young University), and J. Bradley Layton (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) reviewed the results of 148 medical studies that contained data on mortality and levels of social interaction.  They found that people with stronger social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships.  According to their report,  the influence of social relationships on the risk of death are on par with such well-known risk factors as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of factors like obesity and lack of exercise.

So, continue to eat well and exercise regularly, but don’t forget to see your friends! Those moments of camaraderie and fun will pay dividends now and into your golden years.

Need a new buddy? Visit WannaBuddy.com and find a local buddy for dieting, exercise, hiking, attending a concert or whatever! It is the healthy thing to do.

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