ShFIT Talk #14 - Loneliness & Fitness
🔜 Loneliness is unbiased and can affect anyone, no matter one's age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity and more. You can be surrounded by people and yet still feel completely alone. Loneliness is the biological drive that motivates us to seek out others, but what happens when that is not an option.
🚭According to one study loneliness can be as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!!
🚫Lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social connections.
Let's take a closer look into loneliness and how it affects your health and in return your fitness goals and journey! 💪🏾
Loneliness is defined as: subjective discrepancy of our actual level of connection v/s the desired level of connection.
Just because you are lonely does not mean you are isolated and being isolated does not mean you are lonely.
Loneliness is slowly becoming recognized as a real social issue/problem, in 2010 the UK named Tracy Crouch the 1st Loneliness Minister recognizing that 1 in 5 people suffer from some level of loneliness. According to their research around 200K elderly people have gone a MONTH without having a conversation with a friend or relative. A month can you believe that, many of us have been on a Stay-In Shelter order for a little over a month now and we are slowly starting to feel the effects of it, can you imagine this is your life. This is your day to day, with no real end in sight??
Let’s just stop and reach out to your loved ones and let them know you care. Not just a Like on facebook or Instagram but a personal connection. I 100% stopped and sent out a few emails after writing that!
A study published by Cigna found that 46% of adults in the US report feeling lonely and 47% report feeling left out. The study also revealed that the younger adults, even with all the social media outlets available are being hit the hardest. With almost half of Americans being affected, this is no laughing matter. It is amazing how someone can have 10’s of thousands of “Facebook Friends” but feel completely alone. Social media doesn’t provide that meaningful in-person relationship that helps combat loneliness.
As Tracy Crouch says “Loneliness shows no prejudice. It doesn’t matter who you are, how successful you are, how rich you are, where you live in the country, whether you work, whether you don’t work. The simple truth is, loneliness can hit at any given time.”
Loneliness isn’t something that just requires a quick fix. When your body is lonely your natural cortisol level goes up. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Loneliness and increased cortisol levels have been in fact linked to a number of health issues such as:high blood pressure, obesity, weakened immune systems, anxiety, depression, heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, Alzheimers and even death!
Not only does this affect your health, but how hard is it to motivate yourself to go to the gym, to exercise and stay active? It becomes harder to push yourself. When we workout, our body sees the stimulation as a form of stress...which causes the release of yet more cortisol! Our body has an amazing way of working and keeping everything in balance. Yet when we throw a wrench in the mix it can increase the health risks and effects all the positive work you are doing.
Even when we know we are lonely, it is often just as difficult to get out of it. We become comfortable in our little zone and we don’t want to reach out to friends and family after so long. We start to ask ourselves “What if?” What if they don’t want to hear from us, what if they don’t remember us, what if they reject us, what if they ignore us…..but remember, you are not alone!
Fitness can help you take small steps as you come outside your shell. Adding fitness into your life can help to get you out and interacting with people, making in-person connections at the gym and you have the added benefit of all the health benefits you get from working out.