LIFESTYLE

Taking a girls trip is the best thing for your health, study says

Locks in annual leave
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If you need another reason to grab your girlfriends, load up on Prosecco and book those flights courtesy of Jetstar’s ‘Return For Free’ sale, this is officially it. Science has confirmed that taking a vacay with your besties can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing.

The reasoning? Friendships extend our life expectancy, cut down the risk of heart disease and even help us tolerate pain. Plus, spending time with our matesincreases the amount of oxytocin (aka, the feel-good hormone) our bodies produce.

“Social connections like these not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet and not smoking,” Harvard researchers explain.

Three women on beach
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On the other hand, previous studies have proven that those without close gal pals are more likely to experience depression, cognitive decline and have a shorter lifespan.

Three women sitting on bench
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In one particular paper (which looked at data from 309,000 people), a lack of strong social connections increased the risk of premature death by up to 50 per cent.

“Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer,” the researchers add.

This article first appeared on Women’s Health

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