About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Friendship and Health

Today was a great day.  I had an opportunity to spend the day with a special friend.  She had been feeling kind of down, and felt a trip into Santa Barbara with me might help pick her spirits up.  She was right!  We visited an Asian tea garden, went to the meditation temple, and enjoyed a lovely lunch by the beach.  On our way home we both remarked about how much better we both felt having enjoyed each others company and sharing the day.

Friendship is actually good for your health.  There are studies devoted to this subject that prove just that.  A study from Harvard shows that friendship can promote brain health as we age.  Another study out of Australia showed that older people who had a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who had fewer friends.

A professor of sociology from University of North Carolina states that "friendship has a bigger impact on psychological well-being than family relationships.  A study of 3,000 nurses with breast cancer found that women with the disease who did not have any close friends were four times more likely to die than women with ten or more friends.  It also did not matter how much these women interacted with their friends, it only mattered that they had them.  Spouses were not associated with survival.

People who have a circle of friends have lower stress levels, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk to develop a cold.  They also feel more loved and valued then those who do not have friends.  People heal better when they have friendships because friendship improves the function of your immune system.  You will live a longer, healthier, and happier life if you have a network of friends. 

Friendship not only improves our physical well-being, but our mental well being too.  We are more likely to experience negative emotions when we are friendless, than when we have those close relationships with others.  Friends improve our health on all levels.

I have always cherished my friends.  I can still remember my first best friend that I had in the second grade.  Her name was Lynn Castle.  She was a twin, and I have never forgotten our friendship.  I lost contact with her after she moved away, but I have never stopped wondering how her life turned out, and where she might be.  That was fifty years ago....that is how strong friendship can be.

If you have friends, you are blessed.  If you have friends, you are happier and healthier.  If you don't have any friends, it is never too late.  Get involved in group activities such as community events, book clubs, work out classes, or any type of gathering that involves something that you are interested in.  You will meet like minds and out of that friendship can grow. 

Sometimes life can feel difficult and lonely.  Those are the times that our friendships come to our rescue.  I know this all too well.  A friend can help to lift you up when you are down.  They will be there in good times and bad.  Sharing life experiences with friends, makes those experiences more valuable.  Friendship simply makes life better!

So I encourage you to nurture and develop your friendships.  Friends are important for our well being.  How lucky we are to have friends!

Wishing You Health and Happiness, 

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