A socially active lifestyle is an important factor in achieving overall wellness among the senior population. The National Institute on Aging has conducted several research studies that show a correlation between social interaction among seniors and their health and well-being. While exercise and diet are key factors for optimal health, social connections can have a dramatic impact on overall wellness too. These emotional bonds can lead to healthier lifestyles including being physically active, eating healthy foods, lessening chronic pain, helping injury recovery, and ceasing poor health habits such as smoking.
Five main benefits for socially active seniors:
- Improved Emotional Health
Feel better inside! Being socially active builds a greater sense of belonging and higher self-worth levels. Studies show that when seniors engage with others who are passionate about similar hobbies and activities, they enjoy increased self-esteem out of those social relationships. When you have connections with others, you can benefit from a support system and gain more purpose in your activities.
- Enhanced Cognitive Function
Boost brainpower! Recent research covered by NIH shows that among older adults, there is a positive correlation between levels of social engagement and cognitive function. When you are active in social-oriented, cognitive demanding activities such as chess, bridge, board games, and crafts, you tend to have improved concentration, working memory, and executive reasoning skills.
- Improved physical health
Build a strong body! Seniors who regularly exercise with buddies look forward to spending time working out and have fewer excuses to miss sessions. Your relationships can easily support more physical activity, which results in health benefits including disease prevention and enhanced mobility, balance, and flexibility.
- Increased longevity
Live life to the fullest! According to scientists, older adults who spend time with friends are stimulated both physically and mentally. These social seniors are more likely to live longer and more fulfilled lives. When you have social connections, you have a built-in support group to help you deal with daily stresses and encourage you to lead a longer, healthier life.
- Better sleep
Be more rested! For any age, sleep plays an important role in your physical health. According to NIH, sleep is essential in supporting your brain, hormones, lungs, blood pressure, cardiovascular system, immunity, and appetite. Unfortunately, some seniors have sleep difficulties because of being ill or taking certain medications. Research at NIH shows that older adults who have greater social participation such as attending religious programs, volunteering, or being active in organized groups tend to have better sleep than those without. By participating in social activities, you may expect to achieve the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep to feel more rested and have more energy.
Being socially active can have a major impact on your wellness such as improved emotional health, cognitive function, physical health, longevity, and sleep. With all these benefits in mind, don’t be a wallflower and get involved in a social activity today.
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