Staying active socially helps promote good health, no matter what age you are. Friendship is important for better behavioral, cognitive and physical health. People with strong friendships and healthy social interaction report fewer physical complaints. Thus, engaging with others is a wonderful way to stay connected, feel loved, and maintain good physical and mental health.

Since we’re in early 2014, it’s a great time for new beginnings. Here are some great friends to make this year to be happier and healthier in the year to come.


Most people enjoy interacting with children. They bring laughter, playfulness, a sense of fun, and a sense of wonder to life. Seeing things in a new way through their eyes provides a great way to stretch your brain, and to learn to think of things in a different way. It is sometimes said that being with young children helps to keep a person feeling younger.


Interacting with a teacher or professor is a wonderful way to keep the art of learning new things going into one’s later years. It is also crucial for young people to have valuable interactions with teachers. Taking classes when a person is in their retirement years is a wonderful way to keep this type of social interaction active. Learning focuses the brain and keeps you active, which can help to ward off medical issues like the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Elderly people

Elderly people can be a wealth of history and information, if they are given a chance to teach others through social interaction. Oral history is very valuable to help reach a better understanding of today’s social conditions. The elderly have seen a lot in their years; why not learn from them? They are a wonderful source of stimulating, fascinating conversation.

Hospital patients

One of the loneliest groups of people who love to make new friends is hospital patients who feel isolated and who do not have very much access to social interaction. Visiting a hospital or doing volunteer work in a hospital or in a long-term care facility can be incredibly valuable both for the person volunteering and for patients. Providing comfort to another person is a wonderful way to help anyone to feel valued. Plus, social interaction can help to boost one’s immune system, which is another great benefit.

The personal relationships developed with friends may have more of an impact on health than relationships fostered through organized activities. This was one of the findings in a study published in the American Journal of health promotion. For the best health, it’s smart to stay in contact with good friends.


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