4 Reasons Why Getting Healthy With A Community is Better

4 Reasons Why Getting Healthy With A Community is Better


Most people understand the importance of good health, but pursuing this can be easier said than done for many. According to recent surveys, almost 50% of respondents feel a significant lack of drive to workout. This is despite 43% noting they plan to set new fitness goals. Similarly, a WeForum and Statista study found that almost half of surveyed adults want to eat healthier. However, a third of all Americans still eat fast food daily, with a significant population saying they face challenges to eating better, including high prices, too little time, and insufficient knowledge.

This is rather worrying, considering that global rates of obesity and inactivity are rising. In the US, over 40% of adults are obese, and 1 in 4 have sedentary lifestyles. Of course, while health looks different for everyone, excessive weight and not enough physical activity can cause serious chronic illnesses. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists diabetes and heart disease among these. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these barriers to health alone. In fact, evidence suggests that being in a community improves your odds of working towards and ultimately achieving your health objectives. Read on to understand why:

Communities are a great knowledge resource

As mentioned above, many people consider their unfamiliarity with fitness and healthy eating as a reason they can’t seem to get their wellness journeys off the ground. While there is a wealth of information available, especially online, in many cases, it is too generic. It’s this lack of nuance that can make some people feel like following such routines is too hard or is just not meant for them.

On the flip side, since communities comprise of diverse individuals, you’re given access to a wide array of first-hand information. This can include tried-and-tested tips and tricks, which you may be otherwise hard-pressed to find alone. In many communities, you may even find like-minded folks who can help you solve specific problems. To illustrate, being in a community is a great motivation for weight loss, given that you can ask your peers about specific concerns, like how to lighten up a favorite meal. Additionally, you can ask your community about more sensitive topics that are hard to broach elsewhere, like how to get over a mental health slump. All this is why the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology reveals that community social support results in more sustainable results among participants.

Communities can help you find meaning

At the end of the day, your real fuel will come from your “why.” This is the reason you’re doing all this and why you know you have to keep going. Unfortunately, for some people, recognizing their “why” can be difficult, or they may find that they easily lose sight of it. This is especially true since bumps and stalls are inevitable in a health journey since wellness is never linear. With a support system, though, you have other people who can help you find and crystallize this “why.”

Since you’ll be working alongside other people, they can help you re-focus when you feel distracted. For instance, when you’re working solo, it’s easy to find your workouts repetitive and robotic. But, with a community, you have people who can give you a gentle nudge and remind you of the health you’re working towards with every session. This serves as an effective encouragement to exercise consistently. Similarly, these communities can help you so that instead of overly fixating on a future goal, you can see the immediate purpose of your hard work. This can include reduced stress or improved energy levels. By recognizing and keeping your future and present “whys” in mind, you are less likely to burn out.

Communities can push you further

The statement “no pain, no gain” might be a bit hyperbolic, but it’s true that you do need to challenge yourself to see results. This will look different for everyone, but it could mean doing an extra rep or cutting out another less-than-healthy indulgence. On your own, this is totally doable, but most will take it too slow. Remember, baby steps are fine, but working at a snail’s pace might just be you settling into a plateau.

In a community, there’s less chance of this happening since others around you will inspire you to do more. This is why fitness classes are great for wellness newbies and experienced participants. When you feel like you’re at your limit, seeing somebody next to you pushing through can give you that second wind you need. Additionally, having others with you can help you try other wellness zones you may otherwise be too wary to do alone. With a group mentality, instead of just throwing in the towel, you may actually feel more inclined to do more and achieve more.

Communities can improve your mindset

Far too often, people overlook the mental aspect of wellness. Sure, regular exercise and a balanced diet are important, but they will only get you so far if you have a negative mindset. Furthermore, years of scientific research prove that mindset can even counter the physical efforts you’re doing. To elaborate, one study found that people who were fed negative thoughts found themselves feeling tired more easily.

That said, you can think of a community as your own personal cheer squad. They’re here to lift you up when you’re feeling down and can help you look at the brighter side of things. For many, even just a kind word or a pat on the back is literally enough to brighten their moods and help them carry on. This is not to be confused with coddling, though, as wellness communities also know the importance of holding each other accountable.

Written by Margaret James for risebar.com




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