Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How retail therapy can help you live longer

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21 June 2011

UK Edition

Dear Reader,

Men, you're probably going to want to hide this one from your wives. But you're going to want to read it yourself, because there's a bit of a twist!

Women, you're definitely going to want to share this with your husbands. They might not like it, but you finally have some backup for a favourite kind of therapy — retail therapy!

And this is really, really good backup — just about the best you can have. Because it turns out there's some truth to the saying "retail therapy." In fact, shopping could actually help you live longer.

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health recently published a study out of Taiwan saying just that. They found that people over 65 who shopped once a day were 27 per cent less likely to die than people who seldom went out for a little retail therapy.

Oh, and here's the twist — I may have walked the husbands vs. wives line in the beginning of this letter, but it looks like frequent shopping might benefit men more than women. When they broke it down, men were actually 28 per cent less likely to die, women 23 per cent.

I'm not going to lie — this is a bit of a fluff story. But it got me thinking about the reasons why these mega-shoppers are outliving people who don't leave the house as frequently. For one, they're moving more — shopping means walking, which means staying active and keeping your body healthy.

It also means getting yourself out in the community and socializing, which has been previously shown to benefit longevity. Additionally, older people who shop frequently have improved nutrition intake — more trips to the store usually goes hand in hand with having fresher, healthier food in the house.

The researchers noted that shopping could be a way for people who aren't into exercise to get some easy physical activity. Many people would rather go walk around a store or a supermarket — they can be a lot more engaging than walking nowhere on a treadmill for 30 minutes.

Of course, once my wife reads this story she'll be thinking about doing a little bit of shopping all the time... And I'll have no excuse not to go along... after all she'll tell me I'll be taking care of my health!

Continues below...

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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone's personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own doctor before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Wishing you the best of health,

Andrew Miller
UK Editor
Nutrition and Healing

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"'Retail Therapy' Might Really Work," Medline Plus (nlm.nih.gov)

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