I’m a firm believer that we are not meant to go through life alone. As humans, we are wired for community. And while how we engage in community can look different for our varying personalities, the universal deep rooted need for it is very real. That’s why it is no surprise that social support plays a significant role in our health and well-being - even when it comes to exercise. But these aren’t the only factors that make up our health. We’ve been covering a variety of the components of living a healthy life in our “Exercise AND” series, and so far we’ve covered nutrition, hydration, and stress management. Today we’re diving into what social support looks like in the context of health, the benefits of having social support on your health journey, and how to better establish your support system so you can keep on living your healthiest life possible.
FORMS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
When it comes to exercise, a support system and community can take a variety of forms. And the more variations of it you have, the greater support you are going to get. Your social support could look like:
There are all kinds of roles that can be filled in your social support system.
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT IN FITNESS
So let’s say you’ve got one or two of these forms of support. What do they actually do for you? Well, whether you realize it or not, these relationships are actually providing you with a variety of benefits.
The desire for social support, community, and accountability is often what leads so many people to flock to and love group fitness classes. But what happens when going to the gym just doesn’t work for your life? Or if it just doesn’t fit your personality? Working out at home is convenient, but it’s hard to stick with it when you don’t have the face to face interaction that offers a great level of accountability and support. So through Worth the Work Fitness, we try to create ways to have it while still at home. From having your own personal trainer, coach, and accountabilibuddy, to being a part of a Facebook community to connect with others online, you can still experience all of these benefits from the comfort of your home.
TIPS FOR BUILDING SOCIAL SUPPORT
Now, it’s one thing to identify social support, and it’s another thing to tend to and nourish it. Here are some ways that you can find a supportive community, and be a good fitness pal:
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Written by Kelly Pruim