Are you or a loved one lonely or often feel isolated? While we all now that being overweight and not being physically active are linked to heart disease; well so are loneliness and isolation. With so many people longing for that "connection"; medical research has suggested that isolation and loneliness are "just as destructive to an individual's health" as being overweight or not eating healthy (Newman, 2016).
Newman (2016) also indicated that "Loneliness and social isolation was associated with a 29% increase in coronary heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke".
Newman (2016) further suggested that with "more than 1 million people aged over 65 believed to be suffering from loneliness, councils with their responsibility for public health see this as a major concern. [...] Loneliness is an issue that needs our urgent attention, and something that will become an increasingly important public health concern as people live longer lives".
So, if you know someone who is feeling isolated and maybe doesn't have an expansive social network, take time out of your busy schedule and routine to take them out for lunch, for a walk or a run, or simply go see a movie. It will more than likely really make in a difference in their quality of life.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.