Marta Zaraska: Growing young with cuddles, fuzzy moments and optimism
We are bombarded with advice and information about diet and exercise, but what about the impact of friendship, optimism and kindness on our longterm wellbeing? It is eye-opening to discover that a strong support network of family and friends lowers mortality risk by about 45 percent, while volunteering your free time reduces the chances of early death by a staggering 20-60 percent, depending on the study. Science journalist Marta Zaraska is the author of Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. In this episode of the LLAMA podcast, she discusses the peer-reviewed studies that suggest living to a great age is about more than what we eat or how much we move. We cover how caring for children motivates us to keep on living and why Marta's long-held beliefs about aging and longevity were shattered through an understanding of the research.
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In this episode we cover:
- Coping with Covid-19 in France, where the outlook is looking better, with no second wave of the virus yet.
- Becoming a mother and thinking more about health and longevity.
- Why fixating on nutrition and exercise does not tell the whole story.
- Delving into the science behind friendship, optimism and kindness.
- What “Growing Young” means.
- The folly of “anti-aging."
- Why hugging and cuddling is good, most of the time.
- The extremes some people go to for human contact.
- The blood science that validates acts of kindness as a positive behavioral trail.
- Oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins.
- The science behind that fuzzy warm feeling.