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Apr 29, 2013

In a study in The Harvard University Gazette called 'Social Activities Found to Prolong Life', scientists talk about the great importance of socializing as we get older. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the foundations of good health, but scientists now say that socializing is just as important. Thomas Glass, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health says, "Social and productive activities that involve(1) little or no physical fitness lower the risk of all causes of death as much as exercise does." So, how did the scientists reach this conclusion(2)? They studied 2,761 elderly(3) men and women for 13 years. Activites such as going to church, restaurants, and sports events, taking short trips, playing cards, gardening, cooking for others, community work, and paid employment can all impact a person very positively. Ideally, the elderly would also exercise, preferably(4) with friends or in small groups. That way they would get double the benefits(5). It is best to do both: to exercise and to socialize. Scientists admit they don't know exactly why socializing is so beneficial. Glass says he believes that keeping social and busy causes, "changes in the brain that protect against damage and keep the immune system healthy." Knowing this affects not only the individual, but also society(6) because in most societies people are living longer. Programs are developing in the U.S. to keep the elderly active in society, helping in schools, volunteering, and exercising. This way, society benefits from the wisdom and experience of the elderly, and the elderly benefit by staying healthy and happy.

1. 'To involve' is a concise verb that means 'to have something to do with' or 'to work with'. 

a. Teaching involves preparing, communicating, and correcting.

b. The community project involves hundreds of people, lots of money, and lots of time.

2. 'To reach a conclusion' can also be expressed as 'to come to a conclusion'.

a. They came to the same conclusion/ they reached the same conclusion.

b. We came to the conclusion that the house had to be pulled down.

3. 'Elderly' is a polite way of saying 'old' when we are talking about people. 'Old' can give a negative impression.

a. The elderly are a great source of wisdom for the community.

b. She is elderly now and needs extra help.

4. 'Preferably' is like saying 'ideally'.

a. Arrive at the office for the interview prepared, and preferably 10 minutes early.

b. I need an internet connection for my home, preferably a wireless one.

5. 'Double the + noun' is similar to saying 'twice as much .......'

a. In his new job, he'll get double the pay that he gets now/ twice as much pay as he gets now.

b. Compared to that computer, this one has double the speed/ is twice as fast.

6. 'Not only..., but also...' remember we had this the other day; it's worth practicing again.

a. Encouraging the elderly not only affects their feelings, but also how active they are.

b. Socializing not only improves the brain, but also the immune system.

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