Woman planking Creative Commons attribution LulumonathleticsA little support goes a long way

Posted June 21, 2012

I admit that I love feeling that I accomplished something completely on my own – just me and my stubbornness will-power. But most of the time, that’s not how I’ve been successful at reaching my goals. I always have better luck when I have help.

Experts confirm that the journey to good health or any other major life goal is made a little easier when you have support. A walking buddy, a weight loss meeting, a smoking cessation support group or a community of like-minded people can help you reach your goals.

Making changes with a group

Traditional support groups have been enormously successful, like FCHP’s Quit to Win smoking cessation groups. Members who want to stop smoking can join and get the tools and encouragement they’re looking for to make that big life change.

Support groups are great even for those not-so-big life changes. I recently joined an online fitness challenge called "Plank A Day." It's focused on doing one core-strengthening plank per day, for as long as possible and posting the time to Twitter. (FCHP is not affiliated with or sponsor Plank A Day or its creators in any way.)

When I started a couple weeks ago, it was on somewhat of a whim. The challenge looked like a fun, lightly competitive “game” – which is the best way for me to get motivated to exercise. As a result, I’ve been keeping up with the exercise and feel myself getting stronger (I'm up to a 2 minute plank!).

Getting healthy (together)

In a blog post by Plank A Day founder Dr. Sherry Pagoto, she talks about how a community has formed around a health behavior, and it continues to grow. In my experience, I’m more motivated to take responsibility for my health when I feel as if I’m part of something bigger, like a community of like-minded people or a support group. The community isn’t my crutch – it’s my guide.

Groups, communities, an exercise buddy: they can all help us be better than we would be alone. And that ties into what FCHP is all about: “making our communities healthy.” With groups like Quit to Win and programs that help people with chronic conditions, we can get the support we need and get healthy (together).

- Katie Crommett
Blog writer, health nut and planker, FCHP 

Photo credit/Creative Commons  

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.