Studies: Loneliness hampers good health

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Like this year’s flu strain, loneliness and social isolation are part of a growing epidemic.

That’s according to Dr. Dhruv Khullar, a physician and researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York who reported for the New York Times that disrupted sleep, abnormal immune responses and accelerated cognitive decline are incredibly evident among socially isolated individuals.

Though loneliness and social isolation don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, a recent article in the New York Times by Jane E. Brody indicates that the two are equivalent in risk.

“As research moves forward on these topics, scientists are gaining a more refined understanding of the effects of loneliness and isolation on health,” Brody writes. “They are also looking into factors such as who is likely to be most seriously affected, and what kinds of interventions may reduce the associated risks.”

Based on her journaled research, Brody lays out some ideas for socially isolated and lonely adults, which can include taking a class, getting a dog, doing volunteer work and joining a senior center.

Experts have also indicated that beginning a physical fitness program in a social setting can help in multiple ways as participants can work on feeling and looking great while interacting with like-minded individuals.

The health benefits of socializing are in abundance at Heritage. Seniors here enjoy the most highly attended seniors program in the region with numerous activities five days a week, including field trips and fitness classes. Our comprehensive and creative activities focus on the health benefits of social engagement.

Heritage LifeFit Fitness has an expansive set of classes and regular events that focus on the inclusive nature of socialized fitness. While non-members can check out our fitness classes for free during February, members enjoy these programs all year long for free.

Want to get social? Check out the most active senior social program in the High Desert here or contact our Director of Senior Programming Cindy Carroll for more information.

Want to get fit and be social? Learn all about LifeFit Fitness!