Physical activity has been touted as the key to a long, healthy life. Our bodies benefit from staying active and engaged, increasing our chances of remaining mobile and spry as we age. While physical exercise is important to your overall health, remaining socially active can be just as important.
As seniors age, they may find it more difficult to remain as socially active as they once were. With friends and family moving away or health needs allowing for less mobility, finding ways to remain socially active may become a challenge. With less social interaction, it’s common for seniors to fall into isolation and loneliness. And, both isolation and loneliness are associated with a long list of health conditions, including depression, heart disease, and even dementia.
Although circumstances and relationships change, staying socially active should remain a priority in your life. Involving yourself in relationships with others keeps your mind engaged and encourages a more positive outlook on life.
Seniors who stay socially active by maintaining and engaging in social relationships are known to experience a variety of health benefits, including:
Spending time with those we love and enjoy being around has been shown to improve our moods. Forming connections with others helps us feel more engaged in the world around us, decreasing feelings of isolation and increasing feelings of positivity.
Improved Physical Health
When we are spending time with friends, we tend to be engaging in activities that promote our physical health. Being around others also increases our desire to be physically healthy, because you want to make sure you “keep up” with your peers.
Boosted Immune System
Those who are actively engaged with others are known to have higher levels of immune-system functioning. This means staying social can keep immune-harming bugs like the flu and colds at bay.
The mental activity and stimulation provided by social activity can improve cognitive function and memory skills. Keeping an active mind is an important factor in preventing or slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Social isolation can lead to anxiety, causing restless nights. Studies have shown that those who maintain fulfilling relationships are more likely to rest easy and wake up feeling refreshed.
Staying socially active doesn’t have to be difficult. Find ways to encourage relationships with others by thinking of things you enjoy participating in, and exploring ways to enjoy them more often with others. If you have a passion for gardening, join a community garden. Or, if you love to bake, share your tasty treats with neighbors or the local fire house. Other ways you can avoid isolation and find joy in the company of others include:
Finding a cause you can get behind and lending your time and talents to that cause can be one of the most rewarding ways to spend your time. Volunteering for a local animal shelter or spending time helping at a local children’s hospital can help you form relationships with not only your peers, but also those from different generations and walks of life. These relationships can offer a new outlook or perspective.
Joining a club or taking a class
Find a group of people who enjoy the same activities as you or sign up for a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn. Each of these activities engages our minds in different ways, whether it be through new adventures in learning, or forming new relationships with others.
Picking up a part-time job
The benefits of picking up a part-time job are two-fold: you’ll be encouraging new relationships and making a little extra money on the side. While re-entering the workforce can be intimidating, you’ll enjoy this chance to meet new people and form new friendships.
Staying social is easy at our vibrant continuing care retirement community in East Windsor, New Jersey. Enjoy an engaging lifestyle with the highest level of wellness at its core. With an active social calendar, a host of amenities and services to suit your needs, and neighbors just as excited about life as you are, you’re sure to grow and form lasting friendships.