One thing that all of us want out of life is to live a healthy, happy and long time. We may adjust the way that we live in different ways to achieve it, including eating a healthy diet, exercising or laughing with a friend. Some people may also do something specific, such as taking supplements or doing Pilates.
For grandparents who are interested in extending their lifespan, there is an option they may not have considered before.
If you are a grandparent who babysits your grandchildren, you probably look forward to hearing the latest things that they have to say. You take them interesting places and try to spoil them without going overboard.
Babysitting is a good way to get to know those younger members of the family. What you may not know is that babysitting grandchildren might just help you live longer.
A study published in Evolution and Human Behavior examined information from a Berlin aging study that looked into the lives of 500 people aged 70 and up.
It showed that senior citizens who were providing care to a child had a lower risk of dying as opposed to those who did not watch a youngster. Babysitting grandchildren can actually add to your lifespan!
It is noteworthy that no grandparents who gave primary care to the grandchildren were included in the study.
Dr. Ronan Factora from the Cleveland Clinic had the following to say:
“There is a link between providing this care and reducing stress. If providing this care to [grand kids] and others…is one way that we can actually reduce stress, then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care.”
He also discussed the importance of living a physically active life as we get older and staying socially engaged to stimulate our cognitive skills.
Many grandparents are retired but they still like to feel busy and needed. Babysitting grandchildren provides that in great measure.
A study out of Australia also found that spending a moderate amount of time babysitting grandchildren can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought that it happens because when you babysit grandchildren it gives your brain power a boost and reduces the possibility of depression.
Although these studies have looked into the importance of babysitting grandchildren, balance is still needed. Too much babysitting tends to stress people out and you might end up devoting so much energy to doing it that you feel worn out.
The moral of the story is: if your kids need a break and your grandchildren want to come over it is best if you take them up on the offer. You benefit a lot out of the interaction, including the fact that it can extend your lifetime.
You also get the benefit of knowing the latest happenings with that generation, whether it is the books that are popular or the latest video game.