The arrival of a baby signals a drastic change in the life of any new parent, so it's no surprise certain activities take a backseat while issues which hadn't even occurred to us in our child-free days are now of the utmost importance.

It's fair to say very few of us enjoy the same amount of free-time following the arrival of a new baby as we once did, but if you feel your social life has suffered considerably since becoming a parent, it may be worth remedying the issue sooner rather than later.

According to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a lack of social life can be as detrimental to your general health as smoking or abstaining from exercise.
 



The research, which focussed predominantly on adolescents, 'middle adulthood' and older people, compared participants' responses to their social connectivity with specific markers of disease, such as blood pressure, BMI, C-reactive protein levels and waist size.

According to The Guardian, findings indicated that those with healthy social outlets and / or relationships had a reduced risk of these symptoms - a result which can be seen across all three age brackets.

Commenting on the findings of the study, researcher Kathleen Mullan Harris explained that an individual who is confident that they have a sound support network in life will experience a reduction in stress hormones such as cortisole and adrenaline while individuals who are more exposed to these hormones because of a lack of social activity are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, fat waist, diabetes and heart disease.

Do these findings ring true with you?

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