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How Our Surroundings Affect Our Health

As you may or may not know, cardiovascular disease, also known as CVD, is the #1 killer in America. There is a high correlation between CVD and physical inactivity. When I go out to eat, especially my very rare visits to buffet style restaurants, I can see why so many people suffer from CVD. I see so many obese people who go up and load their dishes several times with greasy and fried foods. I can guarantee you that the majority of these people have never exercised in their lives. I’ve been through phases in my life, like everyone else, where I haven’t eaten healthy. This seems to be when I don’t exercise regularly. It’s funny that when people stop exercising or don’t exercise at all they consume foods that are not healthy. One would think that a lot of people would tend to eat healthier and smaller portions when they are not physically active. I notice that when I get into an exercise routine I tend to eat healthier. I think a big reason that overweight people who continue to eat unhealthy and not exercise is due to their surroundings.

I just finished reading a book called Connected by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. The book talks about how people’s behaviors are affected by their family, friends, and even friends of their friends, also known as 3rd tier connections. I can definitely see this as being true. You’ll often notice that people surround themselves similar to themselves. As they say, birds of a feather flock together. Of course, we all like to surround ourselves with people who are like ourselves. Some people are interested in certain things whether it be cooking, traveling, board games, etc. and they like to surround themselves with like minded people so they can discuss these similar interests with each other and learn from others. However, the same is also true when it comes to things that are not good for our body and mind. People who don’t eat healthy, don’t exercise, and who have negative opinions about themselves tend to associate with people with these same mindsets. Very rarely do I see overweight people hanging out with people who look to be physically active.

I feel that if you suffer from low self esteem or are just overweight and want to do something about it, you should look to surround yourself with people who are more physically active and lead a healthy lifestyle. I understand this is easier said than done for most people. If you have a low self esteem due to your unhealthy lifestyle if may be tough to try to associate with people who prefer a healthier lifestyle than yourself. I definitely feel that you have to surround yourself with people who are doing what you would like to do if you want to be successful. You can learn from others and it’s a big motivator to be around people who are doing something that is constructive with their lives.

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