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Did you know that keeping good company has known health benefits? Research shows that friendships can lengthen your life span, keep your brain healthy and help you stay fit.
There are many ways that good friends are good for your health and mental wellbeing – from getting you through the tough times to celebrating life’s special moments. This blog will not only cover the advantages of close friendships, but will also offer tips and activity ideas on how to stay connected with your “besties.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s more to gain from a friendship than just companionship. Having a close pal could have numerous benefits that contribute to healthier, longer and more fulfilling lives, including:
Reduced levels of stress
Improved sense of self-worth, belonging and boosted confidence
Encouragement to make healthier choices and correct bad lifestyle habits such as smoking, overeating or leading a sedentary lifestyle
Lowered risk of certain serious health problems ranging from depression to high blood pressure or body mass index (BMI)
Emotional support through difficult times such as illness, death of a loved one, job loss or divorce
For many, it can seem difficult to maintain friendships over the years. It can be especially hard as we move to other communities, letting the time and distance apart grow between us or finding that other priorities, such as caregiving for loved ones, have taken precedence. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay connected and nurture your relationships through shared experiences and simple activities.
Get Out in Your Community
With little to no cost, there are numerous things to do just outside of your door, from catching up over a nice walk to volunteering together or taking a class – whether it’s at a gym or the community center. If distance is between you, schedule a phone date, video chat or connect regularly on social media.
Hit the Mall
Sharing in ‘retail therapy’ can be the ultimate bonding activity. Have a blast picking out outfits for each other in a department store, or head to a vision retailer to try on new frames in the mirror to complete your look. AARP members can save at LensCrafters, a participating retailer of the AARP® Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed, on glasses, sunglasses and transitional lenses.
Sharing an experience together, like going to a show or concert, is an easy way to bond. With the largest and most geographically diverse theater circuit in the United States, Regal Entertainment Group has of over 7,000 screens in over 560 theaters from which to choose. Take the time to pick a flick that both you and your friend will love. To make a night out of it, opt for dinner and a movie.
Even when your schedule seems uncertain or overbooked, it’s easy to find time to connect over a meal and break bread together. After all, we all need to eat!
Grab a cup of coffee or a snack while catching up. For a casual yet quality meal or bite, Corner Bakery Cafe specializes in high-quality, prepared-to-order pastries, artisan breads and dishes – all inspired by delicious, fresh ingredients.
For more of a sit-down experience, Bonefish Grill serves unparalleled seafood dishes to reel you in and awaken your palate along with small plates and hand-crafted cocktails.
Do Something Sweet
With temperatures rising across the country, now is an especially ideal time to enjoy a sweet, refreshing treat. With studies showing that those with best friends often keep lower BMIs and maintain healthier lifestyles, indulging in a lower fat dessert option is the perfect way to share a guilt-free treat with a friend. If you and your friend have different taste in treats – say, your pal prefers more fruit-forward flavors while you prefer more chocolatey notes – SweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt lets you create your own combination of delicious, soft-serve premium frozen yogurts then finish it off with whatever toppings you're craving.
These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.