How Being Social Can Make You Healthier
By Randi Morse
Do you remember when you were young, and all you wanted to do was hang out with your friends? You'd walk or drive around together, talk, and just have fun. As adults, we often roll our eyes at the amount of time our children want to spend with their friends, but it turns out they have the right idea. Being social is essential for your health.
If you decide to avoid social engagements in an effort to prevent yourself from getting sick, you're actually doing the wrong thing. Research has proven that the more isolated you are socially, the worse your immune system is. By going out and being around friends and family, and the general public, you are allowing your body to build up a resistance to cold and flu viruses. So if you want to have a healthier immune system, spend time with other people.
The idea of losing control of your mind is especially scary to think about. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that rips memories from people's minds. However, you may be able to help lower your risk of dementia or Alzheimer's simply by being social. When you are social, you are engaging different areas of your brain. Any activity that keeps the brain moving will help lower your risk of memory dysfunction.
When we were little and got an injury, a little special attention and a little kiss from one of our parents made us feel better. It is a scientifically proven fact that a little TLC can help alleviate pain. Research shows that your pain perception can be lowered by connecting with someone you care about deeply. It can even lower your blood pressure. So by being around friends, engaging in a hug or holding hands while you walk down the street, you are helping your body to tolerate pain better.
Brigham Young University released a study that proved that isolation can have more of an impact on how long you live than obesity. Yes, being social may help you to add years to your life. Another study from the University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina reported that volunteers who had fewer social connections had a much higher chance of dying sooner. This research proves that connections to other people, friendships, and relationships, help to improve our lives in a myriad of different ways.
This may be because humans are social creatures. Our bodies and minds have developed in such a way that isolation is bad for us. and that is an amazing excuse to go out fishing with your buddies or plan a spa day with the girls.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cucamonga, Calif.