WAC Magazine

October 2012

Issue link: http://www.wacmagazine.com/i/84869

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Page 26 of 63

Community counts How social ties create wellness WRITTEN BY DIANE MAPES £ PHOTOGRAPHY BY BARBARA KINNEY K EVIN O'KEEFE FOUND it atop Mount Rainier with members of his boot camp class. and mentoring young athletes on the University of Washington boxing team. Staci Stringer found it by teaming up twice weekly with a personal trainer. What have these members stumbled upon? It might not be what you think. We're talking about more than fitness here. Cliff Webster found it in group boxing workouts—and by meeting We're talking about wellness. Or, as Seattle author and educator Cecile Andrews calls it, "a lust for life." More than that, even, we're talking about a state of being that may not only be a fountain of youth but also a wellspring of internal bliss. So what's the secret? Social connections. "The happiness research is very clear," Andrews says. "The biggest predictor for health, happiness and longevity is social ties. In fact, some are calling loneliness and isolation the new smoking. People have compared social isolation OCTOBER 2012 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | 27

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