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Living a long and healthy life

Posted Dec 29 2011 4:39pm

There is a very interesting interview in the Monitor with University of California, Riverside, psychologist Howard S. Friedman, PhD, co-author with Leslie Martin, PhD, of the 2011 book “The Longevity Project.”

This is a relevant and timely interview as many of us look forward to a new year, and resolve to do things differently with some aspect or other in our lives.

Eating vegetables and going to the gym are not as important to our long-term health as having a rich, productive life. ~ Howard S. Friedman, PhD

We all know lots of things that are health-promoting — stop substance abuse, stay active, eat right, sleep well, don’t gain weight, make friends — so why aren’t most people healthy?

Instead, Friedman advises:

“Throw away your lists” because our studies suggest that it is a society with more conscientious and goal-oriented citizens, well-integrated into their communities, that is likely to be important to health and long life. These changes involve slow, step-by-step alterations that unfold across many years. But so does health. For example, connecting with and helping others is more important than obsessing over a rigorous exercise program.

Source: Monitor, American Psychological Association

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