At some point in their life, nearly every American will struggle with their weight. Indeed, according to the CDC nearly 40% of American adults are obese –– not just overweight. (Combined, roughly 70% of the population is either obese or overweight.) That’s pretty dire reading for anyone looking to lose weight and become healthier. However, there is good news on the weight-loss front. Indeed, there’s reason to believe that a few simple lifestyle changes could help a great many people achieve their weight-loss goals. The secret? Social connections.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that group workouts are often more effective than exercises performed alone. After all, there are thousands of fitness groups and gyms scattered across the country, and these organization are often designed solely to bring like-minded individuals together. Unfortunately, many people who attempt to lose weight do so on their own. And yes, while working out requires plenty of mental discipline and self-drive, the effects of exercising with others are really too great to ignore. It may prove difficult to join a fitness group at first, which is why it’s imperative for people looking to improve their health to surround themselves with health-conscious cohorts.
To expand on that point, it’s worth noting that a person’s environment can have a massive impact on their weight and well-being in general. According to this study, overweight individuals tend to have a greater desire to lose weight when spending time around healthy friends. As such, activities like group walks at work and family-wide diet meals can help those struggling with their weight attain their targets. Again, it comes back to the theme of isolation. Mood and emotions play a significant role in physiology; it’s not shocking that people who associate with fit, active individuals also strive to be fit and active more so than folks who don’t.
Perhaps the most important “weight-loss relationship” is that between doctor and patient. This is one key contact that many Americans don’t use. In fact, a large portion of adults regularly skip checkups with their M.D. The sad truth is, a misplaced fear or mistrust of medical professionals have robbed many individuals of the kind of advice that could prove beneficial to their diet and exercise routine. ACD blood tubes and stethoscopes might seem a little frightening at first blush, but they are nothing compared to the long-term health risks of obesity. Therefore, it’s critical for people looking to lose weight to consult their doctor frequently. Weight loss may be a personal battle, but the more people you have in your corner, the better chances you’ll have to win it.