Older adults’ health is influenced by a number of factors, including physical activity (such as walking, stretching and swimming) and healthy eating habits. One you may not have considered, though, is social support and personal relationships. Interactions with individuals, especially those you care about, can have a significant impact on your health as you age.
To some, maintaining an active social life can feel difficult, but the benefits make the effort worthwhile. Considering the benefits of having an active social life, it is something that should, in most cases, be considered a priority.
3 Reasons to Prioritize Your Social Life
1. Support for Emotional Health
Spending time with others reduces your risk for some mental health issues. Social activity helps prevent social isolation, which is one of the leading causes of depression in older adults.
2. Support for Physical Health
Having an active social life can provide a stronger immune system, which helps fight off colds, the flu and some cancers. It can also help lower stress, which in turn lowers your blood pressure, reducing your risk for cardiovascular problems. Some other health benefits that result from regular social activity are potentially lower risks for osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Even if you are not physically exercising, it is still beneficial to get up and moving and get out of the house. Doing this helps keep your body strong and capable as you age.
3. Benefits for Cognitive Function
As you get older, it is important to keep your mind sharp. Social engagement has been shown to lower your risk of dementia, and it can even reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Additionally, people who connect with others typically perform better on memory tests and tests of other cognitive skills.
It is never too late to start being social! You can reap the benefits of an active social life at any time. Check out our list of activities you can choose from to maintain relationships with others:
- Reach out to a friend you have not spoken with in a while
- Join a gym
- Join a book club
- Take a class—learn a new language or learn to cook a new style of food
- Pick up a new hobby
- Babysit your grandkids
- Sing in a choir or play music in a group
- Have coffee or tea with a family member or friend
- Play cards or board games with friends
- Reach out to your loved ones
We’d Love to Hear from You!
Comment below or on our Facebook page about your favorite activity or hobby to share with friends or family members.
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