Everything gets better when you get active, even communities!
From Instagram, to WhatsApp, to Facebook, there are hundreds of apps, websites and programs designed to connect us to friends and family easier and faster than ever before.
In theory, technology makes connecting with those around us easier than it’s ever been. A few clicks here, a couple of swipes there, and boom, you’re chatting with Grandma and Grandpa from across the country trying to explain where the camera lens is.
However, despite all the awesome ways technology can bring us together, more and more Canadians are feeling alone, as a study found that 25 to 30% of Canadians of various age groups report feeling persistent loneliness or social isolation. Fear not, though! Physical activity can be used as a tool to help you re-connect with neighbours, family, friends and co-workers.
Put the screens away for a while & get active
By now, you’ve probably heard us talk about all the benefits that engaging in physical activity can have. From improved thinking to boosted energy, being active can help make your life better. This can even include strengthening social bonds and promoting strong, healthy relationships with the people around you.
Look, we get it: new technology is cool and having the latest smartphone or tablet is great. Who doesn’t love watching a good show or killing some time smashing multiple levels of Candy Crush? But we’re spending far too much time indoors being sedentary and staring at screens when we should be outside getting our hearts pumping and taking in some sunshine. Not only is it good for the body, but getting active with friends and family is good for the mind and soul, too.
Here are five reasons why you should be getting active with your community and the people around you:
- It’s more fun – Hitting the recommended guidelines for weekly physical activity can sometimes feel cumbersome , especially if you’re already having some trouble working movement into your day-to-day routine. But getting active with friends can actually be a lot of fun. Catch-up on recent gossip, share a few laughs and get moving at the same time!
- You can build new relationships – Sure, meeting new people and creating fresh relationships over the internet is handy, but doing so in-person can have very positive effects on your well-being. Next time you’re thinking of hitting the gym, why not ask your new neighbour or co-worker to tag along? You’ll be strengthening social bonds and clocking active minutes in no time.
- You’re more likely to stick with your routine – Setting physical activity goals and sticking to them are two totally different things. And doing so alone can be tricky. Whereas if you commit to getting active with a friend or group, you’re much more likely to stick to your goals. Not wanting to let your friends down is a great way to stay motivated. Not to mention, a quick pep talk with your bestie might just be exactly the kind of motivation you need.
- You’re more likely to crush your goal – Having people around to motivate you and kick your butt into gear on days when you just don’t feel like moving can help you achieve your goals. Seeing your friends out there getting active will fire you up to do the same.
- It’s safer to get active with someone else – Having another few sets of eyes and ears can never hurt when it comes to being safe while enjoying being active. Someone to spot you at the gym or join you on a run at dusk can go a long way in keeping you safe while you’re out there doing your thing.Human beings need social interactions and strong relationships for optimal health and quality of life. And while some scholars point to our society facing an epidemic of loneliness, there is something we can do about it: get moving, together.
Join the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge
Physical activity helps me, you, us! Getting active provides benefits for your community and you, like improved mood, increased energy and a stronger sense of connection with others. From June 1-30, get active to help your community be crowned Canada’s Most Active Community and win $100,000!
Download or open the free ParticipACTION app to join!
The ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge is proudly supported by the Government of Canada and Saputo.