I realised last night as I was stood at Fit Camp waiting for the session to start, what an opportunity I have in my job to improve people’s lives in ways they don’t even really realise.
Being healthy isn’t just about doing exercise and eating healthily. It’s about having a balance in your life between work, family, friends. Between having time to have fun and work and time to learn and grow. To being able to feel part of something and feel supported by the network of people around you.
One of the things that I have always tried to to since starting to teach exercise classes is to learn people’s names. I think that the least I can do to repay someone for taking time out of their day to come to a class is for me to be able to speak with and acknowledge them personally. I know a lot of names. Sometimes I need to ask a couple of times, but usually I get it, it sinks in and it stays.
Because I know names, I can introduce people to each other. This means that the class becomes a social place to be, friendships are made and a camaraderie is formed that progresses outside of the class. Having a community to belong to, whether it be a class at the gym a Fit Camp session or a seminar event is very healthy. Having friends to cheer you up when you get there, egg you on when the going gets tough or text you to find out where you were gets the very best out of people.
So back to last night…I was waiting for camp to start and there were large groups of people who just a few months ago or weeks even had never met and are now laughing and joking, saving mats and spaces for each other and getting sweaty and healthy together.
Having friends around us is incredibly important for our long term health. So next time I ask your name or introduce you to someone new, don’t be surprised,. It’s all part of your long term health plan!