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November 26, 2008

The Importance Of Friendship

We just got back from an early Thanksgiving dinner that our downstairs neighbors hosted. We feel so lucky and blessed to have nice neighbors. We've taken a real shine to their little boy, as well, and enjoy playing with him.

But what our neighbors gave us, as far as our health, is more than a good meal. The health benefits of friendship are as important as controlling high blood pressure, weight and giving up smoking. And these benefits seem especially true for women.

"Feeling cared for and supported within a social network is particularly important for women in fostering self-care," says Todd Jackson, PhD, author of a 2006 study linking high levels of social support and community involvement with healthier diet, exercise and sleep habits, among other positive effects.

Friendship provides:
1) motivation -- exercising with a buddy prevents attrition and helps people trying to lose weight together to lose 10% more than if you try to go it alone.
2) support -- talking about problems helps ward off depression and insomnia.
3) accountability -- people who have friends are more likely to take care of their health and actually go to doctors appointments.

So get out there and connect with others. Even if it means leaving a comment on this blog. Let your voice be heard. Who knows, you might make a new friend.

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Posted by linda at November 26, 2008 3:53 PM

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