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Health Warning! Science Continues to Prove That Girlfriend Time Makes for Longevity and Happiness

Point to Ponder:

Do you view time with girlfriends as contributing to your health, happiness, longevity and ability to thrive?

Have you ever heard of "kedging"? According to the book, Younger Next Year for Women, kedging is an ancient sailing term. A kedge is a light anchor, and way back when, to avoid a ship from being overcome by pirates, sailors would kedge. The act of kedging is to pull a ship along by hauling on the cable of an anchor carried out from the ship and dropped. Kedging was a ton of work for the sailors but from a survival perspective, the decision to kedge or not to kedge meant life or death.

Thankfully in 2019, we don’t have to fear being thrown overboard by actual pirates, however we do have modern-day pirates, a.k.a. real-life stuff and distractors that take us off course. These pirates are nothing to fear, however simply being aware of them, their impact and therefore consistently kedging (climbing out of the ordinary, setting a desperate goal and working like crazy to get there) will save us.

Essentially, we will always have pirates in our lives and kedging not only keeps our head above water, focused and surviving, kedging keeps us kicking pirate butt! So, what the heck does kedging, regular iGniting, girlfriend getaways and adventure trips all have in common? They keep us thriving! When I think about it, present-day kedging is the intentional clearing of our schedule and inevitable logistical planning that occurs so we can iGnite, accomplish a good goal and even more, go to an evening social, a getaway or an adventure trip. Many times as we kedge and embark the all-out logistical work just to walk out of our house and do that special thing, it doesn’t seem worth it…..until that is, we get to class, walk into the get-together, board that airplane, turn off our brain and take a giant delicious breath of me-time air, at which it becomes very apparent how worth while kedging is.

Younger Next Year for Women makes the point over and over again about the importance of daily exercise, female bonding/social circles and why we need to take advantage of opportunities to be together, challenge ourselves together and “say yes” together to things that may seem physically, mentally or emotionally daunting. Not to sound like a broken record, but science continues to prove that all of the togetherness listed above makes us healthier, happier, friendlier, stronger and cause us to thrive…. longer.

In fact, there was just an article released in which science, yet again, is telling us that girlfriend trips are good for you. Duh! Science is finally catching up with what we already know, but for those of you who are science-minded, have science minded friends and spouses, scientific evidence never hurts. According to a recent article in Southern Living, "it has been proven that friendship can extend life expectancy, lower chances of heart disease, and even help us better tolerate pain. Psychologists were able to predict the size of someone’s social network based on how much pain they were able to withstand. In 2016, researchers found evidence that hanging out with friends can increase production of oxytocin, the feel good cuddle hormone that our bodies make when we’re happy. Science has shown that oxytocin can make people more trusting, more generous, and friendlier, all the things you look for in friends."

The article continues that, "conversely, according to Harvard researchers, people who don’t have strong friendships tend to be more depressed, have later-life cognitive decline, and, frighteningly enough, were more likely to die at a younger age. One study, which looked at the lives of 309,000 people, found that a lack of strong social ties increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50%, which out the same effect as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. A 2012 study found that the risk of dementia increased depending on how lonely people felt. Plus, in a series of studies, psychologist William Chopik from Michigan State University, found that in older adults, friendships are a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members. He also noted that friendships may be more influential on our happiness and health than other relationships, so it’s worth taking the time to make plans to be just with friends. Hence the girls’ weekend. So clear your schedule and start planning your weekend away—for your health."

So, as you plan your days, weeks, upcoming months and even year, we sure do hope you'll continue to kedge, iGnite daily, say "yes" to our Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk Launch Party on March 20, a private hip hop class at Movement Lab on March 22, giddy up cowgirl with us to Whitefish Montana for our 9th annual Adventure Escape from July 22-26 and July 26-30 and/or join Team iGnite in the Susan G Komen 3-day walk from November 15-17. Ultimately, there will be plenty of other fun opportunities along the way and we can't wait for girlfriend time (in and out of class), health, happiness and longevity...together!


Action Item

Commit to at least one girlfriend day/night, getaway or adventure. We'd love for it to be with iGnite, but most importantly, we just want you kedging and thriving!

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