Whether you’re new to Springfield or feeling cabin fever from the difficult spring we’ve experienced this year, everyone feels lonely from time to time. Unfortunately, loneliness can impact more than just our emotional state of mind. Research establishes a direct link between loneliness and physical health. Fortunately, there are many avenues at FitClub you can explore to break free from the lonely feeling and counteract the negative effects on your health at the same time.
Why loneliness is bad for your health.
Feeling lonely or experiencing real or perceived isolation causes stress, which negatively impacts the body with the release of unmitigated cortisol, the stress hormone, pulsating through the body. The University of Chicagohas been studying the effects of loneliness and the sneaky ways it damages the body and mind. As cortisol moves through the body on a recurring, regular basis, it raises blood pressure forcing the heart to work harder and compromising the blood flow, reduces the amount and quality of sleep, and contributes to depression. The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Healthhypothesized that loneliness may be as dangerous as smoking and even more dangerous than obesity.
The research continues to evolve, but it’s clear that if you regularly feel lonely, you can and should begin taking steps to build a social support network and combat loneliness.
What can FitClub do?
Loneliness is the feeling associated with a lack of a sufficient social and emotional network, friendships, and support. Just stepping in to FitClub is a step in the right direction. No matter what other interests you might have, you can be certain that the people you’ll find at FitClub share your interest in a healthier lifestyle.
- Try group fitness classes. Group fitness is consistently proven to improve physical performance more rapidly than exercising alone, but there’s also an instant camaraderie forged by pushing through physical limits to achieve a shared goal.
- Achieving goals is a boost to your emotional health. Setting and achieving fitness goals not only improves your physical health, but your mental health as well. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just making a commitment to move each day, write out your goals and be sure to cross off those milestones as you finish each workout. The act of crossing a healthy to-do off your list at the end of each day gives your self-esteem a boost each night before you head off to bed.
- Learn to meditate. FitClub has a meditation class that can get you started on a lifelong journey of mental exercise. Meditation is more than just a relaxation technique and has been proven to change the ruts in your brain with sustained practice. Learning to identify emotions, rather than merely reacting to those emotions, has been proven to be a successful tool in fighting anxiety and depression.
- Check out a seminar. FitClub routinely has short seminars designed to educate on any number of topics. Find a talk that you might be interested in, ask questions, and introduce yourself to the others in the room, knowing that you have at least one common curiosity in common.
FitClub is more than just a health club. It can be that supportive community you may feel you lack.