THE FITNESS FORMULA
Chapter 3: The Support Network
In the famous words once used by The Beatles
“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends”
......well maybe ignore the second line... but I believe the rest is very relevant to the third chapter of our blog.
We all do need a little help from time to time. As I’ve previously touched on, having a positive support network is vital to achieving goals, whether they are fitness related or otherwise. That being said, I have come across a number of people who come into the gym and have that ‘get up and go’ attitude; once they put their mind to something they see it through by themselves. However in my experience, the majority of people do want to change their lifestyle, lose weight, increase fitness etc., and they may start out well, but it can be short-lived if they don’t have some type of support system in place.
It is part of my job as a coach to offer not only suitable exercise programs and guidance with these, but also to promote positivity and motivate people to want to keep working to achieve and maintain the healthy improved lifestyle they are after. In my opinion, it is also part of my job to help people develop and build their support network, as this can make all the difference, especially in cases where people have tried to make changes before and failed.
As support comes in many different shapes and sizes, it means your network can be very diverse. It could consist of your family, friends, people you have met in the gym, work colleagues...it could also consist of online forums or health and fitness apps and devices. Whatever works best for you. Elements of a strong network include emotional, practical and inspiring support. For example, practical support may involve the entire family getting on board and making a nutritional change, or it may even be someone offering to watch the kids while you nip out to your gym class. Emotional support may be something as simple as a few words of encouragement, or someone helping you to make good decisions (especially helpful in social situations). Inspiring support might be a work colleague noticing your hard work/seeing a change in you and paying you a compliment. In terms of online support, I find there are several health and fitness apps that are really useful in making a positive lifestyle change. Benefits of using these include being able to easily monitor diet, set goals and track progress, observe activity levels such as heart rate, pedometers etc. I’ve actually came across a couple of apps and devices that send you notifications randomly throughout the day, whether it be to get up and a do few steps or to drink a glass of water.
So with all this in mind, we can conclude that a support network can stem from anywhere, and can be in many different forms. It doesn’t necessarily have to come from every single person or avenue in your life, but if you have one or two people you can go to, it will aid and enrich your journey considerably. Remember it’s quality rather than quantity.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan
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