Social Support: A Key Part of Getting and Staying in Shape

Do your friends and family support your efforts? If you are trying to eat healthier, do they attempt to sabotage you and continue to offer foods that you’re trying to avoid? When you are walking out the door to head to the gym do they beg you to stay home instead?

     These are very common examples of how your loved ones may, without meaning to, try to derail your good intentions. One of the best ways to ensure you still reach your goals and implement all the positive changes you are working towards is to have a plan. If you know ahead of time that your family may not be supportive, you can have some steps in place to keep on track.

     First, remember that everyone you live with deserves to have good health so that means that junk food isn’t good for them either! Research has proven that a healthy diet and activity allow children to do better in school, focus more and have fewer behavioural problems. This bodes well for you and your family. Have healthy foods like cut up veggies, fruit, nuts or homemade snacks readily available.

     Encouraging your spouse, children and friends to participate in your chosen activities is a great way to include them. This allows you to feel supported while they gain the advantages exercise gives. There are many children’s programs available so you can get your workout in while the kids play. Family activities such as walking, cycling or hiking are fun for everyone and you get the benefit of getting fitter. Workout dates with friends are another terrific way to keep your support system strong while reaching for your goals.

     Once you commit to a healthier lifestyle for yourself it is easier for your family and friends to join in. Make it fun and everyone will reap the benefits.