Advertising
Advertising

Scientists Explain How The Time You Spend With Your Parents Can Affect Their Longevity

Scientists Explain How The Time You Spend With Your Parents Can Affect Their Longevity

Loneliness has become an epidemic. Some researchers even claim that it is deadlier than obesity[1]. Studies show that lonely people have a 50% higher mortality rate than non-lonely people whereas obese people have an 18% higher mortality rate than non-obese people.

Loneliness is a common source of distress, suffering, and impaired quality of life in older persons and is especially detrimental as you age. A study[2] done by the University of Chicago found that loneliness can significantly affect blood pressure, weaken the immune system and lead to a greater risk of depression, heart attack, and strokes.

Advertising

Spending time with aging parents can help them live longer

The time you spend visiting your parents, chatting with them on the phone and Skyping or Face Timing them isn’t just a nice thing a grown child should do; it contributes to the length and quality of their golden years. Jama International Medicine[3] performed a comparative analysis of lonely and non-lonely seniors and found that lonely seniors were also more prone to suffer from an array of medical conditions at a much higher rate, ailments such as hypertension (3.1% difference), diabetes (2.4% difference), and heart conditions (5.3% difference). And isolated seniors were almost 30% more likely to suffer from depression.

Advertising

It also turns out that loneliness is a key accelerant in the aging process and associated mortality. Researchers[4] observed 1,600 elderly individuals (average age 71) for a six-year period and found that only 14% of the seniors who were regularly visited by their relatives have died, compared to 23% of participants without family visitors.

Advertising

Spending time with seniors is beneficial to both you and them

Seniors have a ton of wisdom and experience they are eager to share. The well-spring of knowledge and sage advice that can be ascertained from simply sitting and chatting with an aging person could be life-altering for both of you. And every interaction doesn’t have to involve deep intellectual conversations on how to save the world. Conversations that are silly, meaningless and just make you laugh are just as transformative and beneficial as the more philosophical ones. Share funny stories about the kids, exchange recipes or simply allow your senior parents to share stories about their lives “back in the day.”

Allowing your parents to hear your voice and see your face from time-to-time will not only stave off loneliness but it will help them live longer and you to live better.

Featured photo credit: Pixels via pexels.com

Advertising

Reference

More by this author

Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

3 Reminders to Help You Enjoy Life Even When Life Is Tough 20 Simple Ways to Bring Positive Energy into Life Right Now Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself 30 Best Business Podcasts That Help Entrepreneurs Become Successful Day 10 Shocking! Exercise Right After Eating Ain’t That Bad for Health

Trending in Family

1 The Secrets to Balancing Work and Family Life 2 15 Best Father’s Day Gifts Your Father Won’t Buy On His Own 3 6 Ways to Care For Your Aging Parents From a Distance 4 What to Do If You Grew up in a Dysfunctional Family 5 How to Strengthen Family Bonds When You’re Staying at Home

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

Advertising

If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

Advertising

Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

Advertising

Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

    Advertising

    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next