We all know that eating right and keeping fit can help us lead longer lives. However, you might be surprised to learn there is another key component to longevity: being social. Whether it’s dinner with friends or a simple phone call with a loved one, you can reap the benefits of socializing from staying mentally sharp and physically healthy. Socializing provides numerous benefits and can add years to your life. Some of the benefits include better mental and physical health.
Stay Sharp & Happy
According to the American Academy of Neurology and the Mayo Clinic, social seniors are at a decreased risk for developing cognitive impairments such as dementia. In fact, a recent study by researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center Alzheimer’s Disease Center found that lonely individuals may be twice as likely to develop the type of dementia linked to Alzheimer’s disease in late life than those who regularly socialize. Seniors who reported having a few hours a day of social interaction were found to be happier, less stressed, and less likely to develop depression.
Take Part in Physical Activities
It may not seem like it, but socializing also helps your overall physical health. If you are lonely, you will be less likely to get out and exercise—a must for seniors. Without exercise, your physical health suffers. By getting out and being social, you can lower your blood pressure and potentially reduce your risk of:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Rheumatoid arthritis
When people socialize, they are more likely to go out and take part in physical activities. When you exercise regularly, you are less likely to develop osteoporosis and arthritis. In addition, socializing can even boost your immune system.
Find a Community with Opportunities for Socializing
To reap the benefits of socializing, start by regularly connecting with your loved ones, and continue pursuing your passions and doing the things you love. You might also look into volunteer opportunities in your community.
At a Bethesda community, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of good company, as well as amenities and activities designed for keeping your mind and body engaged. From playing cards with friends in the game room to attending a group outing, you can feel confident that no matter what Bethesda community you choose, you will not lack for opportunities to socialize with your neighbors. In doing so, you will feel good knowing that you’re helping yourself lead a longer, happier life.
Find more tips for healthy aging on our blog, and sign up for our Wisdom With Age newsletter to receive our monthly newsletter.