Even though making the decision to start living a healthier lifestyle usually comes from a person’s own individual/personal motivation, this doesn’t mean that the journey has to be made alone. Having a good support system is very important to keep on track during your fitness journey. Resiliency- researcher Elliot Friedman wrote: “The availability of social support in all its forms – instrumental support, emotional support, support with how you think about things – they all matter and help us in facing challenge.” Surrounding yourself with supportive people will help you succeed in sticking to your healthy lifestyle changes, so try to find someone you can count on in each area of your life (home, work, hobbies, etc.). Explain to them what changes you’re making and why they are so important to you, and ask for their encouragement along the way. Your friends and family can offer you emotional support like a shoulder to lean on and a reminder of why you started when things get tough, or more tangible support like carpooling to the gym or even a gift certificate for more exercise classes. The behaviour of those around us is inspiring, so find yourself a support system that will encourage and motivate you to change your life for the better.
If you’re a member of Active Health Solutions you’re already a part of our support system! Our community is full of amazing people all working towards healthy goals and lifestyle changes, so if you’re in need of support on your journey look no further than the AHS team and the other participants in your group exercise class. People who work out together form a group identity and a strong sense of camaraderie from sharing a common goal and purpose, so there really is strength in numbers. It’s a group of like-minded individuals who you can share and celebrate your achievements with, and encourage each other to keep going and even push yourself harder. The positive energy in the class is contagious, which is proof of just how strongly the attitudes of those you surround yourself with have an effect on you.
With our January Special this month – bring a friend new to AHS and you both get the class for free – it’s the perfect time to add someone new to your support system! Whether it’s a friend, family member, neighbour, or colleague, working out with someone you’re close to has many benefits. Studies show that over 40% of participants drop a fitness program shortly after it begins if they join alone, but this number drops to only 6% if they join with a friend. Making a commitment to go to a class together makes it more likely that you will actually go, by adding accountability. It will be less tempting to skip a day if you know your partner is waiting for you there. Group classes are also a great way to reconnect and catch up, while still working on achieving your goals. Everything is more fun with friends, exercise included: you’ll be surprised by how fast the hour flies by when you’re laughing, chatting, and cheering each other on! Take advantage of this special offer by bringing a new workout partner with you this month, and maybe even try out a different class so you’re both trying something new.