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Personal trainer tips: The importance of positive social support

Having a good social network around you is vital to helping you achieve your weight loss goals. You cannot underestimate how beneficial having supportive people in your life can be. They can be there to share nutritional tips, work out with you, or simply be aware of your journey and help you to make wiser choices when in social situations.

It is important that your support group understands the lifestyle change you are going through and the reasons why. Evidence shows there is a strong correlation between social support and healthy behavioural changes. Indicating that if you have a supportive social network you are more likely to reach your goals and also prevent a relapse.

Social support can come from many avenues: it can be collated from family, friends, neighbours, spouses and colleagues, or it can simply be someone you met at the gym. You can create whole new relationships with people who are going, or have been through, similar changes to you; use this to your benefit.

Support comes in different shapes and sizes. There are several ways in which you can get support from friends and family including:

  • Emotional

  • Encouragement if you are feeling down

  • Help you make good decisions

  • Talk to you about the highs and lows

  • Positive thinking

  • Practical

  • Someone to watch the kids whilst you work out

  • Help out with house work/cooking so you have time to exercise

  • Someone to exercise with

  • Inspiring

  • Encouragement you when you need a boost

  • Eat the same as you when out/eating together

  • Other people seeing the change in you

You may find that you get different types of support from different people. For example, you may find you receive more practical support from family and spouses but more inspiring support from friends and colleagues.

Not only can support affect the way you think and behave, it can also have other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing stress and anxiety. Consequently placing you in a more positive mindset, enabling you to embrace healthy behaviours or eradicate negative ones.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have every single one of you group helping you. If you have one or two people you can call or go to, it will aid your journey considerably. In this case, quality not quantity certainly applies.

So, remember social support can come from anywhere and in many forms. You are making a lifestyle change, so make sure those surrounding you are informed and can help you along the way!

If you need any further guidance, you can get in touch with our expert personal trainers in Bristol by calling 0117 403 7600, or email

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