The Importance of a Healthy Community

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a community of supportive family and friends to keep that child living longer into his or her healthy adulthood.

In their ongoing search for better health and longevity, people are reading up on natural health techniques, taking supplements, seeing natural health doctors and watching what they eat. Many of them are even doing the unimaginable: lowering their fists at one another while driving to lower stress. But they are overlooking an underestimated way that can help them slow down aging, fight illness and depression while speeding up recovery: having a close-knit circle of family and friends.

In this video, I share my own personal story with you on the importance of having a supportive group, and why I disobeyed my physician’s advice when I was diagnosed with cancer.
I’m really excited and proud to say that I got my black belt in Kenpo this past weekend.

(Kenpo is a belt ranking system, similar to those of Karate and Judo. It is almost exclusively a stand-up martial art, using various hand strikes and kicks.)

It took me six years of training, and a lot of trial and error to get there, and one of the things I discovered along the way was the importance of my Kenpo community.

But I almost gave it up because I went through a health crisis for the third time when I was diagnosed with cancer, and my physician told me that I couldn’t practice anymore. It took my Kenpo community to keep me going. Because of them, I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in to the illness, and I didn’t give in to all of the challenges around me.

Supportive family and friends, food and exercise…for many of you, that’s all the medicine you need. Especially having friends. In general, the role of friendship isn’t terribly well appreciated. There is a ton of information on families and marriage, but very little on friendship. For a lot of you, friendship has a bigger impact on your psychological well-being than family relationships.

Brigham Young University professors Julianne Holt-Lunstad and Timothy Smith have found through their research that friends, along with family and colleagues can improve your odds of better health and longevity by 50%.

50%! Can you imagine?!

As the Beatles sang “With a Little Help From My Friends,” your supportive and true friends can, literally, save your life.

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