Divorced? Click for New Mate

One of the more surprising results, in my health survey of amateur photographers, was that people were finding new relationships through their involvement in photography.

That was not one of the specific questions in the survey, but rather was found in comments that were written in when folks were asked to put in their own words how photography had improved their life.

When asked to write in what benefits they got from photography, among other things they wrote:

  • Meet new people
  • Feel more connected to the community
  • Gets me out of the house
  • Don’t feel so isolated, lonely

Those were benefits I had not even considered including in the survey before all the results came back.

But when you think about it, a great deal of our physical health is tied to our emotions. How we “feel” inside is often reflected in our health and in our energy. When we are depressed and lonely, we often don’t feel like doing anything.

To see that photography could help people improve their social lives was a nice surprise. Come to think of it, although I never thought of it as a health benefit, I have met all kinds of wonderful people through my photography too.

One way to get started would be to look at Meetup groups in your area. Meetup.com offers many local community groups who get together centered around a theme. There are writing groups, and sports groups, a host of other groups on every topic imaginable, and there are photography groups.

In my area, the photography groups (there are actually 10 different photography groups in my area) chose some part of town, maybe a historic area, or church, or river walk, or scenic attraction and they all meet up to take pictures for an hour or two and then meet at some restaurant to sit and discuss the outing and share photos.

It’s great way to casually meet new people, without commitment or expectation,  who share a similar interest. It’s a great way for singles to get out, have some fun and social interaction in a safe way.

Photography classes are also a great way to meet new people. It’s easy to suggest meeting up somewhere for a photo walk. Or often times, the instructor will schedule fun outings that give you an easy, informal chance to talk and interact with someone new.

Once I saw the survey results and thought about it, it really made sense. Photography is a great way to meet new people and have something fun to do. There is no end to the adventures you can share and places you could go.

I’ve also noticed, that traveling alone is so much more fun when you bring your camera along. Suddenly, you’re not some lonely traveler wandering around a strange town, but you’re a photographer on a mission to capture great things! You’re on the hunt for cool new photos to share. You’re on safari!

A simple change of thought can do wonders for how you feel.

Not content to just accept the survey results and my own personal experience, I decided to interview a professional psychologist and family therapist who specializes in divorce to get her take on all this.

You can listen to my interview with Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds by clicking here.



Low Stress Senior Workout

Getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down.

The stereotypical old man or woman sitting in a rocker waiting to die is dead. Thanks to greater knowledge of how our bodies work, modern medicine, and treatments, we can remain active well into our “Golden Years”.

But we can’t do it like we’re 20!

A senior fitness routine must take into account several factors:

  • It should be easy on our joints
  • It should be good for our cardiovascular system
  • It should be something we can do every day
  • It should definitely strengthen our legs and torso
  • It should not leave us sore or ache
  • It should be exciting to increase our dopamine levels ( a natural pain reliever)
  • If possible, we’d rather not sweat

Luckily, there is an activity that provides all these benefits and more – Photography.

Wait. Wait. Wait.

Let’s back up a minute. I took two steps there instead of one.

Walking is the primary activity that covers all of the points listed above. In fact, doctors worldwide recommend walking as one of THE most beneficial exercises. Everyone says we should do more of it.

The problem is, it can get boring to just go out, day after day, and walk.

Let’s face it, we live in a high stimulus world right now. We are a nation of multi-taskers. We need more than just a walk, alone with our thoughts, to keep us motivated to continue.

That’s where photography comes in.

When you bring your camera along, suddenly your boring walk becomes an exciting safari. You’re on the hunt for a great scene to capture…with your camera.

Suddenly, your mind is not thinking of your walk as exercise, but as an exciting adventure. You never know what you’ll see today. What cool photos you’ll take to share with your friends or family.

As simple as it may seem, changing your focus from exercise to adventure can make all the difference between staying healthy or slipping into a sedentary lifestyle that will cripple your health and hasten your demise.

Consider bringing your camera along on your next walk. Look for interesting things to photograph. With the new digital cameras, the satisfaction is immediate. Not only will you go home feeling better because you took a walk, but you’ll have cool photos to share as well. Two for one…what a great deal!

For best results, consider taking a photography class. You’ll learn all sorts of new techniques that will improve your photo taking AND increase your interest. One of the great truths, when we get good at something, we like to do it more!

Stay fit. Stay healthy.

Next time you head out for a walk, leave your dog at home and bring your camera instead. Or bring them both for twice the fun

To learn more about the 24 surprising health benefits not normally associated with photography, pick up a copy of my new audio CD, “Your F-Stop Guide to Fitness”. You’ll listen in as I share 45 minutes of true-life stories, tips and tricks, including the 24 health benefits photography can provide. It’s the perfect senior fitness guide.

Click on the photo below for details…

Senior Fitness