They say you are what you eat. But, you’re also who you hang out with.
There are no quick ways to being healthy. It takes lifestyle change and that’s the truth of it. Of my time in the fitness profession, the biggest game changer I see to succeed in your health and fitness goals is looking who you surround yourself with. If you are constantly around people without the same goals as you, it is going to be a huge uphill battle to succeed. When you surround yourself with likeminded individuals, it takes the temptation out of things that are currently holding you back and provides the support you need to flourish.
If you want to finally make change and become the healthier and fitter version of yourself, you have two choices when it comes to who you currently hang with if they aren’t on the same page as you with their health:
Yeah, it’s harsh, but it’s also reality. If your friends don’t want to support your in your quest for a healthy lifestyle, F- them. You’ll find new, better, and sexier friends soon enough.
Do it together
What better way to get healthier than to do it with your current crew. Going on this journey with a spouse, family, or friends is an excellent way to ensure your success. You’ll know what you each are going through and be an amazing support system.
Surrounding yourself with healthy people gives you:
Avoidance of temptation
You and your bestie have your first half marathon next weekend? You both will have no problem staying in this Saturday evening and watching a movie instead of going out. You’ll be hitting brunch after the race anyway!
My best friends all go to the gym and I legitimately miss them when they aren’t in class. When I text them later that day it isn’t to remind them they wanted a deadlift PR, it’s just because I wanted to hang with them. Maybe I care about their goals a little bit, but it’s mostly me being selfish.
Healthy activities and hobbies
Paddle boarding at the beach? Yeah! Rock climbing? Sure thing. Volleyball at the park? Let’s go! This is kind of blunt, but healthy people like to do cool shit. Find some healthy people to do cool shit with. Disclaimer: beer can be drank during or after this fun shit too.
Life’s unhealthy temptations are always surrounding us. Whether it is a bacon maple glazed donut or a jalapeño passion fruit margarita, my goal isn’t for you to avoid these pleasures altogether. Rather, instead I want you to find balance of both of these worlds. The problem lies when the ones who you spend the most time with are constantly pulling you in the directions you shouldn’t be going to very often. You need friends that will run with you at 9 am, then go to brunch after. You need acquaintances that back your decision to leave a party early because of your workout the next morning. And you need supporters that are running this race with you, not telling you to skip your Friday workout to go to Happy Hour.
An African proverb states that “it takes a village to raise a child.” This works perfectly for our health and fitness too. We are setting ourselves up for failure if we try to tackle it alone or without a support system around us. This journey is hard enough, so make sure you are surrounding yourself with individuals who not only support you, but make this trip of health and fitness incredibly fun and successful.
Is the “New Year, New You” a real thing or just marketing bullshit to get you to set some goals for the new year?
Here’s the reality: it’s up to you. And I’m into it.
Every year, people make their New Year’s Resolutions and January leads to an influx of people trying to become fitter. It’s so popular to make resolutions based around health and fitness because, as a whole, America is terribly out of shape. It comes as no surprise that when people look to better themselves in the new year, their health becomes a priority. And it should be!
We constantly debate and worry about our health in this country. Which diet is best? What style of fitness is the safest? How can we better control our obesity epidemic? The answer is simple – take your health out of your doctors’ and the media’s hands and put it into your own control. Start simple and see where that takes you; eat real foods, limit processed foods and alcohol, and begin moving more. After a bit of that, see where it takes you, and determine what you need to do to continue to better yourself.
We should always be trying to better ourselves. The new year gives us that fresh opportunity and a new page in
our novels to do so. If you aren’t setting goals year-round, you should be. Setting them alone is not enough, you need to actively check in on them, revise them, and add onto them. Goals also give us a perfect way to back track, set timelines, and see what we should be doing everyday to get to that end result.
Most importantly, don’t put your health and fitness on an unattainable pedestal. Simplicity is the first start. Give up sweets and start walking. Only drink one night a week and ride your bike more often (preferably not on the night you are drinking). Or better yet, stop by a local gym (if possible, my gym) and meet with a professional who can outline your journey and support you all along the way. Regardless of your path, you can do it. New Year’s Resolutions only suck if you don’t reach them. Don’t let them suck this year.
Sean Spire is the Head Coach of ASL. He was a competitive swimmer who discovered CrossFit and Ironman Triathlons. He has his BS in Exercise Science from Florida State University.