Good Friendships May Be More Important to Your Health Than You Think

When life hands you lemons, do you usually head over to spill your guts to your friends or do you prefer to go at it alone? Well, you may want to increase your social skills as a study by a team at Brigham Young University in Utah reported that having good social relationships- friends, marriage, or children- may be as important to a healthy lifespan as quitting smoking, losing weight, or taking certain medications.

Psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad, who led the study, said in a telephone interview, “A lack of social relationships was equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.” Also, being solitary was equivalent to being an alcoholic, not exercising, and twice as harmful as obesity. Her team looked at 148 studies and over 308,000 during their analysis which was published in the Public Library of Science Journal.

So, what is the lesson here? Make time for your friends and family, in the good times and bad. And instead of meeting up to nosh on loads of artery-clogging foods, try outdoor activities where you can still make time to be with the ones you love, but still be active. Life’s short. Surround yourselves with the ones you love. For your health, of course.

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