When discussing the methods in which an individual can improve their overall health and wellness, the most common issues to come up will undoubtedly be diet and exercise. This is not necessarily a bad thing of course, as engaging in regular physical activity while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet are certainly prime components of health and wellness. While diet and exercise are automatically brought into focus, improvements in overall health may also be possible through something as simple as companionship.
A recent study brought up by Tim DeCapua mentioned that social isolation may indeed be linked to an increased risk of developing a wide range of illnesses. The study focused on elderly adults who self-reported their feelings of social isolation, with researchers then comparing the level of isolation in each participant to the expression of certain genes associated with health and wellness. The results showed that greater levels of social isolation resulted in increases in inflammation and decreases in the effectiveness of defense mechanisms against viral infections, leading to the conclusion that social isolation may indeed be a major factor in significantly reduced health and wellness.
There is an obvious and simple solution to this issue that does not require costly medications or frequent trips to the doctor, as all that is necessary to improve the expression of the genes associated with ideal immune system function is companionship. So patients seeking to improve their overall health should not only consider how to improve their dietary habits and exercise routine, but should also consider how to improve their social lives as well. Tim DeCapua recommends an approach that solves several issues at once, suggesting that taking a group fitness class at a gym can help improve physical fitness while also increasing the opportunities for social interaction.