Hugs for Health

Last weekend I spent the Memorial Day Holiday in the heartland of America. Far from LA, we drove through golden fields and green forests to arrive at a beautiful lakeside community where families have gathered since the beginning of last century. 

Canoeing through an inlet, we saw fuzzy cygnets being shepherded by Mama Swan while Papa swan swam guard, his feathers ruffling as we glided closer to his family.

The teenagers kayaking or fishing gave courteous nods when we passed. Toddlers frolicked in the shallows at the edge of the lake. Families relaxed on docks or terraces and waved a greeting to passers-by. 

It was a holiday out of my childhood, when good manners and family gatherings seemed to go hand-in-hand. 

Studies show clearly that people with strong families, warm friendships, and community ties, are healthier and live longer. The relationship between our social health and our bodily health is so strong, that close social ties may trump obesity and sedentary lifestyle.

The pleasure and enjoyment of family life was expressed unreservedly at Klinger Lake. What could be finer than plenty of fresh air, Spring scented woods, and outdoor sports creating shared experiences that span generations? Sprinkle liberally with love and laughter, and this is a recipe for solid families and good health.

So, when you assess your life, count how many happy, warm relationships you share with others around you. Even if you don’t enjoy exercise, consider if you are having good times with friends and loved ones and if you feel cared for and connected. Good health may cost you some money, in terms of quality food and natural medicine. But good relationships may only cost you the time it takes to help someone, let someone know you care, or share a good laugh out loud. We are truly social creatures and that is a muscle that cannot be over-flexed, reaping many benefits that are good for the body and food for the soul. 

Wishing you lots of warm friends and daily doses of hugs.