Kinds of social interactions which scientifically proven rejuvenate the brain and body

Social interactions are beneficial at all ages, but for older people, communication with others is a key factor in maintaining physical and mental health. Scientists at the University of Southern Denmark have studied data on the impact of social activity in 29,000 people over 50 years of age from 12 countries. Experts have identified five types of activities, regular participation in which reduces the risk of chronic diseases, allows maintaining the tone of cognitive functions of the brain. 

Entrance to a sports or tourist club. Studies show that people who join a football or handball team normalize their blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and improve the work of the musculoskeletal system. Group climbing helps to cope with depression, and hiking helps to promote emotional health, creativity, a sharp mind, and healthy relationships. Specialists emphasize that during sports activities people have a better chance of experiencing the flow that gives a feeling of happiness and stimulates creative activity. Experts argue that not only sports games but also board games, including card games and chess, bring health benefits. They reduce anxiety, improve the respiratory system, support cognitive functions, and strengthen interpersonal relationships. 

Volunteering is associated with improved mental health, increased physical activity, reduced functional limitations, and reduced risk of death. Research shows that people who help others on a voluntary basis improve mental health by half. Volunteering helps people feel that they have meaning in life, raises self-esteem, develops a sense of compassion, and allows them to communicate with others. 

Participation in political and public life. The individual is a social being, so the opportunity to contribute to public life is key to mental health and physical well-being. Studies show that community service activities at the age of 33 protect against cognitive impairment at 50. 

Religious and spiritual activities. A wide range of studies has revealed that religion and spirituality, in general, are beneficial to mental health and also have a positive effect on physical health and reduce the risk of illness, improving immunity and increasing resistance to stress. Studies have shown as well that attending religious services increases life expectancy, improves cognitive health, and reduces the risk of depression. 

Learning something new together. People who are used to learning throughout their lives usually have better physical and mental health, including reduced risk of heart disease and obesity, healthier habits (such as good nutrition, exercise and quitting smoking), better health and cognitive abilities, and a stronger sense of purpose in life. Attendance of art or music classes improves communication between different areas of the brain, increases psychological resilience, and the ability of people to cope with stress.

July 16, 2020, 11:07 a.m.

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