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Healthier, Happier for Cheap

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Here's a bright spot amid otherwise bleak news: While the economy continues on a steep decline, new research shows that acquiring material possessions will buy you neither happiness nor health. Hanging out with family and friends affords you better health benefits for years to come.

According to a new study out of San Francisco State University, life experiences improve your well-being significantly more than buying things. Sharing a life experience with someone brings you closer to that person, satisfying a natural human need for connection. Also, a shared experience provides fond memories that can be drawn on during less happy times, while a pricey new golf bag or designer jacket, for instance, won't provide the same shared memories.

“Once you buy something materialistic, there’s no reason to hold that memory,” explains the study's author. “But with a life experience, you can't take anything home. The only thing you can take with you is a memory, and we tend to focus our memories on the intense emotion we felt during the experience or on how it ended. Memories have an inherent bias, and you remember the best parts of life experiences.”

So try not get down about not being able to afford the latest gadget this year—it may be for the best, health and happiness-wise. Instead, go to the driving range with a couple buddies, play a game of tennis, or ride bikes with your spouse. Not only will you save money, you'll get back in playing shape and be healthier and happier in the long run.

About The Author

David Schipper – David began writing for CorePerformance.com in 2008, after spending six years at Men's Health magazine digging up the newest scientific research in health, weight loss, nutrition, muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

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Tags: Gear, Longevity, Health