We live in an era where we are “connected” almost 24/7. We are on our phone, Facebook, Instagram, and Snap Chat all the time. However, more and more people are struggling to find real connections with real people. As humans, we are social beings. We were created to do life with people. Sadly, we have become so attached to our social media relationships that many of us are missing out on a true, real life community.

Community is vital to our health and wellness. We need relationships. In fact, some experts have said that “loneliness rivals obesity and smoking as a health risk.” Find a tribe. Need to be convinced? Here are 5 benefits of a community.

Support

Whether you think you need it or not, you need to be supported. In my opinion, support is one of the biggest benefits of a community. A good community is there for you. They will encourage you and support you. We all need people that will come running when we need a hand. Life happens. Sometimes life is good, sometimes it’s bad, and sometimes it’s downright ugly. When you are part of a community, you have people that will walk through all of those times with you.

Challenge

We all need to be challenged. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be tough, but a good community will challenge you to get uncomfortable. Your tribe will push you to be better. They will make you work harder. One of the benefits of a community when it comes to being challenged is that when you are in relationships with people, they are allowed to show you some tough love, they can step on your toes, and they can make you a better version of you. We might not always like it, but we benefit by having people around us that challenge us.

Accountability

Tempted to give up on your workout, your eating plan, your job, or that big goal you set at the beginning of this year? Think again. A community is going to hold you accountable. They are going to check in, ask how you are doing, and ask you to share your progress toward a goal. Being accountable to other people helps you keep going. It helps you keep pushing toward your goals.

Laughter

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Being around others makes us laugh. I’ll be honest, I laugh at myself sometimes. However, when I’m out with my girlfriends, I laugh a lot. See, laughter actually decreases stress hormones and increases the release of endorphins {the body’s natural feel good chemicals}. Find people that make you smile, that are funny, that appreciate the art of being silly. Then, hang out with them. You will feel much happier and less stressed overall if you do.

Give Back

Having a strong community opens the door for you to give back to someone else. My parents always told me {and I tell my kids} that it’s better to give than to receive. However, as we move into the chaos called life as an adult, we often miss out on opportunities to give back. When you plug in, you get the benefits of encouragement, support, motivation, accountability, challenge, laughter, and so much more, but you also get to encourage, support, challenge, and help other people. You get to be someone’s “person,” and that is an incredibly rewarding job.

What are you waiting for?

Plug in. I get it. That is so much easier said than done. I have personally become much more of an introvert as I have gotten older. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t need people. Meeting new people can be intimidating and completely uncomfortable sometimes, but you can do it.

Finding a strong workout community is a great place to start. Generally, people that workout on a regular basis are pretty happy, so the environment is often upbeat and encouraging. It’s also very easy to plug in. Just show up. Say “hi” to the person next to you. Ask for some help. The community at Fixed on Fitness is a very strong one. Plus, we are always open for more people to come join us. At FOF, you will find so many benefits of a community as well as a completely diverse group of people to connect with. The first week at FOF is totally free, so check it out.

Whatever you do, look for a group that works for you. Find a place where you can surround yourself with like minded people that will build you up and make you a better person. Once you find your community, tribe, or group, invest in your people and allow them to invest in you.

Plug in.

~KP

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