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The Role of Social Support in Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle: World Health Day

Every year on 7th April, the World Health Organisation celebrates World Health Day. It commemorates the anniversary of the foundation of WHO in 1948. This year it will observe its 75th anniversary and the theme is “Health For All”.

It is a theme that resonates with our mission to provide quality fitness training to maintain good health for as many people as we can possibly reach and create an ecosystem that caters to your individual needs for a healthy life.

Humans are social creatures. So it is not surprising that a crucial aspect for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is social support. A support group is a network of people that help, comfort and celebrate your efforts and achievements.

So nurturing a strong social support system will have a beneficial impact on both your mental and physical health.

The strong social support:

  • Helps manage stress levels,

  • Lowers blood pressure,

  • Enhances the immune system,

  • Boosts self-esteem,

  • Reduces loneliness, thereby diminishing the risk of poor mental health and cardiovascular disease,

  • Encourages to maintain healthy lifestyle behaviours, and

  • Uplifts overall emotional health

What are the different kinds of social support?

Social support can be categorised into four kinds of supportive behaviours:

Emotional support

Involves providing comfort, understanding, and expressions of empathy and sympathy to someone in need. It also involves encouragement, trust and a caring attitude resulting in a sense of solidarity and a deep connection. It is usually practised between close friends and family members who are sensitive to your needs. Examples can include, listening to your friend after they had a bad week at work. It helps manage daily stressors as well as cope with traumatic events.

Instrumental Support

It is also known as material support. It entails tangible assistance or material aid and service to another person or group. Instances such as helping with household chores or lending a book to your friend are showcasing examples of instrumental support.

Informational Support

Implies imparting advice, guidance, suggestions and information to help someone make an informed decision. For example, doctors advise seven to eight hours of sleep which allows people to make informed decisions about their sleep cycle.

Appraisal Support

This refers to information provided for self-evaluation. It helps individuals to think and evaluate by asking questions and assessing their values. For example, a friend seeks guidance about leaving their job. They need both emotional support displayed through listening and a caring attitude as well as advice for the next best course of action for their professional career.

Social support can come from various sources like family, friends, colleagues, teachers and community, and support groups. It is worthwhile to have an encouraging and diverse support system that includes different types of people who provide varying types of support.

We at Fitcom are focused on providing you with all four kinds of support in varying degrees to achieve the ultimate goal of a fit mind and body. Fitcom helps you maintain healthy behaviours through training from personal trainers, mental health coaches, meditation experts and many more services. It provides you with a motivating and accountable community to exercise and eat clean. It provides you with correct information and professional guidance which is crucial for maintaining good health.

Studies have found that social support makes you stronger, more resilient, and more adaptable to upsetting life events. It can also lessen the harmful effects of burnout and lowers the risk of various health problems.

Celebrate this world health day by beginning your health journey today.

Join us at Fitcom to be your ultimate support system for a healthy lifestyle!


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