How Your Social Network Can Make or Break Your Fitness Goals

The saying goes that you are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with. This famous quote highlights the impact that the people in our closest proximity play a HUGE role in our health and well-being. That social network includes friends, family, significant others and co-workers (think how much time you spend at work!). People often talk about the power of these people when it comes to career and business goals, but what about the influence of this social network on our health and fitness goals?

Have you ever tried to lose weight just to have your significant other bringing in all your favourite treats all the time?

How about when you’ve been doing REALLY well eating healthily but then your best friend asks you out for dinner and you end up at a pub that has mostly fried foods on the menu?

That friend that says, “well I’M not on a diet, why do I need to eat that?!”

These circumstances are super common and completely throw your health goals for a derail. Studies have shown that when one spouse is overweight, the risk of the other being overweight hugely jumps (over 40% higher!). This makes sense, doesn’t it? How much of our social time is spent around food?

When we are making health and fitness changes, the initial steps are always the hardest (think about your first day in the gym!). We live in a world forever surrounded by temptations. Will power is like a muscle. If we are flexing it all the time, it eventually gets tired and that is when we break down.

Now I’m not saying we need to dump our friends and family! But I think it’s important when you are making a change to be clear and communicate with them so that they can help SUPPORT you with those changes!

Here are some suggestions that I have always found helpful when I’m changing my health routine!

1. If you have a spouse that refuses to remove the sweets from the house, ask him to move them from your eye sight. He or she gets more to themselves! It really is a win-win. Sometimes just not knowing where those foods are can help keep you on track. Out of sight, out of mind!

2. Going out with friends should definitely still be a part of your routine. Losing all social outings is not the path to lifelong health and fitness. Be open with your friends that you’re starting this new routine. Ask if you can pick a restaurant that has some healthy and unhealthier options. Look at the menu beforehand and know what you’re going to be getting. Planning is the ultimate necessity for being health conscious – especially at the beginning.

3. Get your friends and family in on it with you! It makes it way more fun if you guys are being each other’s accountability and support. Then it is something you guys get to do as a group or as a family. I know that when I’m on track, it’s easier for Nick to be on track and vice versa.

4. Find a fitness routine that has the support built in. This is one of the things that I LOVE about our members at STAVE OFF. The ladies and gents in our program support each other! They are all there for the same purpose… to get an amazing workout in and be a little bit fitter and healthier each day. It creates a whole other group of friends that share some of your health and fitness goals. You can use them to find the support you need!

The goal to health and fitness is a journey. One that is different for each person. Having the proper supports in place though is so key to your success. Our coaches are here as well for you in the gym. We are here to support you to get to the place you wish to be. Communication is key though! Because it’s true… your social network can make or break your fitness aspirations!

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Christina Prevett

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