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Friends are the perfect valentine

Posted February 04, 2015 in Advice Column, Ames

February is historically when we think of those we love and how much they mean to us.  But the good news is just having good friends and companions can be very good for our health!

In fact, studies show that being around people you care for can:

  • Boost your immune system.
  • Raise your “feel good” hormones, giving you focus, energy, and optimism.
  • Help you live a longer and healthier life, especially when your friends are a mix of ages.
  • Reduce stress and pain.  Studies show holding hands or even a brief hug can lower blood pressure, and the positive effects last all day.
  • Lessen grief.
  • Help protect against dementia, as the brain is “working” to maintain relationships.
  • Assist you with achieving weight and fitness goals.  Encouragement goes a long way!

All these benefits are multiplied when you are around friends every day.  Having someone close by to support and engage you gives you a sense of purpose, adds joy to your life, and keeps your mind active.

This is a great reason to consider living in a vibrant retirement community, where social connections thrive and neighbors greet you with a smile.  Your health—and your heart—will thank you!


Information provided by Rod Copple, executive director, Green Hills Retirement Community, 2200 Hamilton Drive, Ames, Iowa, (515) 296-5000, www.greenhillsrc.com.

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