If you haven’t hung out with your mom in a while, you’re going to want to call her up! Research shows that the more you hang out with Mom, the longer she might be around.
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at the loneliness levels of 1,600 people with an average age of 71 (the youngest being 60 years old). Researchers found that those who reported being lonely died within six years after the study, compared to the 14 percent of those who said they had companions who passed.
“In older persons, health outcomes, such as worsening disability and death, are influenced not just by biomedical factors but also by psychosocial distress,” the study included. In addition: “Loneliness is an important contributor to human suffering, especially in elderly persons, among whom prevalence rates may be higher.”
It can be easy to neglect the bond you have with your parents—when you grow up, move out, have a family of your own, you might not be around as much. Unfortunately, many of us forget that our parents or grandparents won’t be around forever. Thankfully, this research has showed us there are ways we may be able to contribute to their life span. It seems that simply spending time with them can make them—not to mention you—live longer.
If you’re lucky enough to have this advice not be too late, here are a few ways to spend some quality time with your mom (or dad for that matter), some of which might boost their health in more ways than one.
Take her dancing.
Not only will it be such a fun night out, but busting a move can improve our overall mood and sense of well-being, plus is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety, according to a meta-analysis of 27 studies in the journal Arts in Psychotherapy.
Have a wine night.
Is there anything better than sharing a glass of pinot with mama bear? Lucky for us, research shows that a glass of red wine can boast some major heart-healthy benefits. Just try to avoid finishing off multiple bottles!
Make her dinner.
She’ll not only appreciate your hard work on cooking up a nice meal, but you get to choose the ingredients and can make sure you’re serving only the healthiest fare. Loss for ideas? Try these pan-seared lemon butter scallops or these delicious crab rangoon egg rolls to really impress her.
Enlist her as your gym buddy.
There’s nothing better than a workout buddy: they keep you accountable, plus there’s always someone to complain about how much you’re sweating with. You can easily make a routine out of it. For instance, every Wednesdays, you take a yoga class and every Sunday you take a walk together. Companionship plus fitness is a recipe for success.
Take her to the movies.
You know that new comedy she’s been dying to see? Treat her to a night at the theatre. Just make sure to bring your own snacks because that large buttery popcorn will kill her faster than loneliness—kidding!
Do you spend enough time with your mom? How will you start to spend quality time with your mom, or other elderly person in your life?