Good friends may help your life last longer, according to an Australian study. Conducted by the Centre for Ageing Studies at Flinders University, the study followed nearly 1,500 older adults for 10 years. It found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with the fewest friends by 22%.
Why is this? Many suspect it is because good friends discourage unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and heavy drinking. And the companionship provided by friends may help reduce depression, boost self-esteem, and provide support. Also, as people age, they may become more selective in their choice of friends, so they spend more time with people they like.
Other studies have shown that people with fewer friends tend to die sooner after having a heart attack than people with a strong social network. Having lots of friends may even reduce your chances of catching a cold.
People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol -- a stress hormone.
Therefore, people with social connections feel more relaxed and at peace, which is related to better health.
Bottom Line! Eat right, Exercise, and increase your circle of friends! You may even want to try online social groups. I have listed a few below....
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