Most people think of peer pressure as this awful thing that makes teenagers drink beer, have sex, and make regrettable fashion choices, but it turns out there is a positive side to this type of influence. New research reveals that peer pressure combined with diet or exercise can be a force for good. Many health-conscious individuals have discovered that a “just say yes” approach to peer pressure and other social stress can help them get (and stay) fit. How? Let us count the ways…
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It's a common refrain among moms: "Would it kill you to get out and meet more people?" Heed her advice this time. It might save your life. Research shows that a woman’s social network may impact her chances of surviving breast cancer by enhancing her coping skills, providing emotional support, and expanding opportunities for information-sharing. Another health perk of pairing up: Married men and women live longer following heart surgery.
We all need our alone time, but too little social interaction can have some scary side effects—the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic and twice as many as being obese, according to researchers at Brigham Young University.
When people are connected to a group and feel responsibility for others, their sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks, says researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad. The positive effects of relationships are not exclusive to older adults. They span all age groups.