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Happy people less likely to die prematurely, study shows

Most people would agree that a positive outlook can yield numerous health benefits and now there's some scientific evidence that backs it up. Results of a new study indicate that happy people experienced a 35 percent lower risk of dying prematurely, MSNBC reports.

While there has been research in the past examining the impact that happiness has, most of the studies were dependent on the subjects recalling their long-term emotional state. In this study, however, scientists were able to track the happiness of participants between the ages of 52 and 79 each day for five years by asking them to chronicle their emotions on a sliding scale throughout the day.

Perhaps most interesting is that even people who had chronic diseases lowered the risk of premature death if they were happier. The study's lead author Andrew Steptoe believes that it may lead to a change in the way people look at healthcare.

"Older people have needs that we in society try to supply, like good healthcare and ensuring they have enough money to live on," Steptoe told MSNBC. "But maybe we should pay attention to their well being in terms of happiness, too."

Although the study indicates the importance of a positive outlook and happiness, many people may be unsure of how to boost either. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise may be the best answer.

While regular physical activity is known to reduce the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes, research has shown that it may also help quell depression and anxiety. Specifically, the clinic reports that it releases neurotransmitters and endorphins in the brain, both of which are considered feel-good chemicals. Furthermore, it increases body temperature, which can sometimes have a calming effect and boost self esteem.

It doesn't really matter what kind of exercise you get, as experts say simply getting up and moving can improve your mood. Homeowners at Sun City Carolina Lakes have numerous opportunities to stay active thanks to its state-of-the-art fitness center.

In addition to an indoor lap pool, weight room and fitness classrooms, the community also offers outdoor actives including bocce and pickleball courts as well as an 18-hole golf course.

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