how to age better

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Prioritize Important Friends Like You Do Diet and Exercise

The research: Past studies have shown that strong social ties boost your health, but a recent review helps explain just how your circle of friends affects the quality and length of your life. A lack of social ties and support was associated with higher inflammation levels, higher blood pressure and larger waistlines, according to the research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, the kind of socializing we need for our health changes throughout our lifespan: When we're very young and very old, the number of friends we have matters most, while the closeness of those friendships and the support they provide is more important in midlife.

What you can do: You're likely at an age where quality of friends matters more than quantity. So make time for the supportive friends and think about whether you really want to spend energy on the rest. (Being able to spot toxic friends is important too, and we can help with that.)