The 5 Ways How Being Social Can Help You Live Longer!
Studies show that an active social life can improve and extend the lives of seniors, improve their health and even assist in avoiding Alzheimer’s* .
While many publications and studies are vocal about the need to stay active in retirement, not so many are promoting the virtues of social activity in our later years, something that recently has been shown to improve many aspects of our lives, and in fact extend them beyond expectations.
Probus is a social group for retirees with over 130,000 members throughout Australia and New Zealand, and it’s chairman, Douglas Geekie, says that studies show there are at least five good reasons to maintain a good social life through joining a social club and interacting with other like-minded people on a regular basis.
Socialising reduces stress and can lower blood pressure.
Being with people you like helps lower stress, which in turn can help your blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risks. Relaxing with friends can help improve your health.
Socialising can improve cognitive function.
Keeping a sharp mind is as simple as having regular conversations with friends or joining in with group activities. Simply playing Scrabble or dominoes, or going on regular outings are all good ways of improving cognitive function and could even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Being a member of a club can improve your physical fitness.
Even if your social activity isn’t considered to be formal exercise, socialising still gets you up and out of the house. This helps improve physical fitness and mobility.
An active social life can slow declining health.
According to a study conducted by the Centre for Advancing Health, being social can slow the progression of declining health. Participants in the study with active social lives maintained good health longer, or developed problems later in life than participants who were isolated and anti-social.
Club membership can reduce the incidence of depression.
Depression is common in older adults, and finding ways to combat depression is important as we age. Keeping busy, especially at something you can enjoy with others is the easiest way of doing this. Surround yourself with positive relationships that enrich your daily life.
“Membership of a social group or club has proven positive health effects,” says Douglas. “These changes are apparent in our own members who meet once a month purely for fun and friendship as well as outings and tours.
“The more you socialise, the more opportunities you find to maintain an active, exciting retirement even if your idea of a great time is just sitting down and chatting over afternoon tea. Being part of a group means there’s more people to stimulate ideas and plan interesting activities based on your likes and dislikes, and even if you’re not keen on doing things with a large group of people, a club will still give you the chance to make new individual friends.”
You can find out more about Probus by calling 0800 1477 6287. Visit probussouthpacific.org to find out where your nearest Probus Club is.
*’Socially Active Older Adults Have Slower Rates of Health Declines’ (1/12/2011) by Sharyn Alden, contributing writer. Research source: Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.