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Friends to the End

You know the old adage "you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family"? Well it turns out the friends you pick may lead to a longer life. A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that older people who have close friends and confidants live longer than those who don't, but that having close family ties had no discernible effect on prolonging your life.

The study, which was conducted in Australia , focused on more than 1,400 men and women, age 70 and older for a span of 10 years. During this time, the researchers conducted yearly interviews with participants for the first four years and then approximately every three years afterward. The study controlled for sex and demographics as well as health and habits but did not consider certain factors such as diet. Despite the fact that some factors were not considered, the researchers were convinced that the results still showed that the effect of having close friends was clear, and those with the largest number of friends survived the longest.

"By differentiating between friends, children and other relatives," the study authors wrote, "we were able to show that it is friends, rather than children or relatives, which confer most benefit to survival later in life." Lead author, Lynne C. Giles, a doctoral student at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia went on to say: "Ensuring that older relatives and friends are involved in society in some way seems to be a key factor in longevity. "

Considering how much stress familial relationships can often bring and considering we often choose our friends based on characteristics we find pleasing and/or identify with, it makes sense that having good friends, now and later in life, would offer important health benefits. As we get older and lose some of the abilities and faculties that seemed to come to us so easily in our youth, we may be tempted to retreat into our homes and ourselves. Studies like this one, however, demonstrate the importance of maintaining personal and social connections; the bonds we share with friends enrich our lives and enhance our emotional and mental well-being. So while you continue to navigate through your busy life, don't forget to set aside time to nurture your current friendships and cultivate new ones. You'll find that you're not only adding years to your life, but life to your years.

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EnergyFirst, a leading company in the all-natural protein and supplement industry, was founded in 1997. We, at EnergyFirst, believe that everyone can benefit from drinking a protein shake whether the goal is optimal nutrition in a meal replacement, an easy and healthy breakfast alternative, a weight loss aid, or a protein supplement for athletes. We also believe that your protein shake should be 100% natural and delicious. Nutritionist, educator, athlete, and EnergyFirst's CEO, Gerry Morton is committed to providing customers with all natural, science-based, effective products for optimal nutrition, weight loss, and a healthy lifestyle.

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