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“A growing body of research shows friends are essential to a healthy life — and they are just as important for our well-being as healthy eating habits or a good night’s sleep.
Platonic love trumps romantic love in a number of ways. People with strong friendships tend to have better mental health and, studies suggest, better physical health. Researchers have found large social networks lower our risk of premature death more than exercise or dieting alone.
A six-year study of 736 middle-aged Swedish men found having a life partner didn’t affect the risk of heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease — but having friends did. A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a lot of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with few friends. Notably, having a social network of children and relatives did not affect survival rates.
To learn more about how to nourish your friendships, read the full story.
More simple changes for better health
January is a time of resets and resolutions. We’ve had a busy week on the Well+Being desk, with more great suggestions for getting the most out of this month when you’re extra motivated. Here is some of our advice:
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