Make time for book club
Spending too much time alone can hurt your long-term health. Put time toward building and expanding your social networks, whether it’s joining a group activity or catching up with an old friend. A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found friendships formed early in life can protect your health in your older years. In fact, they discovered that social isolation is more harmful for hypertension than diabetes. Related research links loneliness to a weakened immune system and higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and depression. Lonely people have a 14 percent greater risk of dying than the average person (making isolation twice as dangerous as obesity). According to experts, it is just as important to build social networks as it is to eat healthy and be active. Be sure to read these 50 science-backed tips to combat loneliness.
Rub on SPF
You already know sunscreen prevents sunburn and cancer. It also keeps 80-year-old you looking years, if not decades, younger. Australian researchers studied more than 900 participants for four years. Some were told to use sunscreen daily and given instructions on proper use, such as re-applying every few hours. Others were not given any directions (it was deemed unethical to ask them not to use it). Researchers tracked participants’ skin changes with microtopography, in which silicone impressions are made on the back participants’ hands. People who used sunscreen were 24 percent less likely to show increased signs of aging.