Is Healthy Behavior Contagious?

We all know you can’t choose your family, but if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you may want to take a second look at who your friends are. Or, more accurately, how your friends live. A recent study showed that people were more likely to eat well and exercise more when the people around them had these healthy habits as well. Basically, we all have an innate desire to fit in, so we tend to adopt the ways of our peer group.

If you’re trying to lose weight or just make healthier choices, you can use this idea of positive peer pressure to your advantage:

  • Find a partner with a healthy lifestyle who will push you to stick with your goals and make dates to work out together.
  • Group weight loss programs, such as Weight Watchers, let you mingle with like-minded people while keeping you accountable for your progress.
  • Start a support group at your office or church and plan fun exercise activities or healthy potluck dinners together.
  • Volunteer at your local farmer”s market — you”ll meet some hard-working people and just try to resist those vibrant fruits and vegetables.
  • Lead by example, by inviting your friends and family to join you in a healthy lifestyle. Before long, your old friends will be your new support system. And hopefully you”ll all be around a lot longer to enjoy each other”s company!

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