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Friendship: The Health Benefits

By Sara Butler

Friends are there for you through thick and thin. They give you a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen with, and a buddy for all your crazy adventures. Throughout your entire life, friends help to make your life richer and help to shape you into the person you are. But friends serve other very important roles in your life because they’re good for your health too. Here are the health benefits your friends provide you.

They Help You Live Longer -- And Healthier!

A study published by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that the more social ties a person has at an early age, the better their health at the end of their lives. Scientists have found that strong social relationships provide the benefit of lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation, lower body mass index, and smaller waist circumference -- all things that can lengthen your lifespan.

They Keep Your Brain Sharp

It turns out that you are at a higher risk of dementia if you feel lonely as an older adult. You can keep your brain sharp and working well by talking with your friends and coming up with new ideas. Scientists have also found that participating in extracurricular activities is associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease too, probably because when you’re in a social setting you feel, sense, reason, and think -- all things that help stimulate your brain and keep building connections between neurons.

They Provide Support

Life can be hard at times and friends can help you deal with the stress that is an inevitable part of life. They’re around to help you celebrate the good times, too. Friends help you feel less lonely and can help you to avoid falling into bad lifestyle habits born out of loneliness. Make sure to schedule time with your friends and family to help you connect, which will help lower your stress and help you live longer.

Making new friends in life can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Take a class, volunteer, or join a club to meet people who are interested in the same things you are.

The Beatles were right -- you get by with a little help from your friends! So call up your best bud and thank them for your health and wellness today.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mansfield, Tex.

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