With record-breaking frigid temps hitting the whole country, even in parts of “sunny” Florida, it’s easy to find excuses to stay indoors and play on the computer or catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite shows.
But some new research has found that there appears to be a longevity “key” — one we can take advantage of by being sure to leave the house every day. That’s right — go shopping, meet a friend for coffee, or take a stroll (if you’re not buried up to your knees in snow, that is!).
I know, that sounds a little odd and surprisingly simplistic, but when you hear what a new study has concluded about what that daily habit can do to keep you going strong, you may just want to take that advice to heart.
So, here’s what you need to know in order to make sure that you’re doing all you can to keep lighting up those birthday candles.
Facebook, Skype, and FaceTime may all be great ways to stay in touch with friends and relatives, but guess what? No matter how amazing these newfangled communication methods are, they don’t take the place of being in the company of a real person!
The power of simply talking to someone — not on a screen or your phone, but the way it’s been done for eons — was recently put to the test by a research team in Israel.
And when the group crunched the data on over 3,000 seniors about how often they left their homes, what they found was, in the words of the lead researcher, “quite exciting.”
Based on those findings, Dr. Jeremy Jacobs from the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem says that he believes the benefits that come from connecting with the outside world can give you a big boost in the longevity department.
As he put it, “There’s something about interacting with the world outside that helps.”
For those ranging in age from 70 into their 90s, getting out and about practically every day of the week was closely linked to living to what was called their next “milestone birthday.” For those who were hitting 90, for example, going out at least six times a week meant that they were 64 percent more likely to make it to 95, compared to a 38 percent chance for those who “don’t get around much anymore” (like only once a week).
And these benefits appeared across the board for all of the people involved in this study. Even seniors who had difficulty getting around due to issues such as chronic pain or vision problems were still able to benefit in this way.
And it seems like you don’t need an important reason (or any reason) to head out the door, either. Simply taking a walk or meeting up with a friend can bring about the same positive results!
But if just going out with no particular destination doesn’t appeal to you, why not volunteer in your community?
Love dogs and cats? Local animal shelters typically have extensive volunteer programs that welcome dog walkers, kitty socializers, and those who want to help with foster pet programs.
And those are just a few of many ways you can be sure your plans include a good reason for you to get that worldly “interaction,” which will help to keep you going strong for many more years to come.
“Leaving the house linked to longevity in older adults” Carolyn Crist, December 26, 2017, Reuters, reuters.com