Social Interaction is Good For Your Health
Consistent social interaction is yet another requirement to ensure good health and a long, vibrant life. But for some, this is easier said than done.
Berkeley, Mayo Clinic, and the National Institute on Aging (among others) all cite evidence that suggests that social interaction improves physical health, increases cognitive functioning, and promotes a longer, more active life. Then, there are the multitude of studies that cite a direct correlation between happiness and social interaction. But, none of these studies tell us how to create or recreate social circles or form meaningful interpersonal relationships, especially after relocating or simply shifting gears during mid-life and into our senior years.
Americans typically spend the majority of their adult lives with their nose to the grindstone and spending free time with family. Friends often consist of colleagues and parents of children’s friends, with a few old friends and neighbors sprinkled in. Because there’s little time for forming (or keeping) the deep bonds with friends that came so easily in years past, social lives become family and children focused. So, by the time the nest empties, many simply feel that they don’t have the energy for it. This sense of defeat, combined with the loss empty-nesters often feel, can be a bit disillusioning. Yes, for some, jumping back into the social scene is like riding a bike, and they’re back in the game in no time. But for others, socializing and putting themselves out there is like pulling teeth.
Active Adult Communities. The Easy Way Out
This is essentially why active adult communities exist – to make staying active and social easy. Introvert or not, a healthy dose of connection does every body good. And, no matter your personality, finding where you fit into social scenes without the accessibility of organized activities, sports, clubs, and gatherings can be a challenge. This is exactly why active adult communities go above and beyond standard amenities like sports complexes, fitness clubs, and golf courses (all of which can be excellent social outlets). They develop workshops, help to form social clubs and organize events, activities, and outings in order to serve the varied needs and personalities of residents. Whether you’re a nature-lover, bird-watcher, moon-howler, pickleball player, golf fanatic, wine connoisseur, ballroom dancer, quilter, diehard volunteer, lifelong learner, or avid reader, there are people, groups, and activities designed for you. And, if you can’t make yourself go, don’t worry. That’s what having a tight-knit community full of people who have been (or are) in your shoes is all about. Neighbors will eventually get you there.