“Tell me your friend, I will tell you who you are” is a famous quote that has been received well by one and all as we all believe that individuals influence and are also influenced by other individuals surrounding them. This doesn’t mean that wise people group together or like-minded people only become friends. Best friends might be two opposite poles yet there are some personalities and characteristics that attract each other making them vow to a lifelong friendship commitment. We choose our friends based not on our requirements but due to some underlying spark that makes us feel good in their presence and value the time spent in their company. For many of us, our friends are the pillars of strength to whom we lean upon in times of happiness as well as struggle. These people walk with us in all phases of life and would love to accompany us anywhere anytime-it might be to a wedding, a funeral or even a simple workout.
Regular physical activity is essential for good health and except for some who lead a disciplined lifestyle all others need motivation and a constant push to walk them through their exercise schedule daily and no one’s much better for this than your closest buddy! Walking or jogging might be an individual activity but having someone to walk or jog with provides constant motivation, a commitment to the activity and a constant rush of adrenaline that makes you push harder each day to beat your mate in your endeavor to a healthy lifestyle.
A wearable fitness tracker might do the trick in predicting your daily activity and health. It gives you the exact heart rate numbers just when you want it-right after an important business deal closing or after the exams of your most-dreaded subject. These trackers also motivate us with the close count of the number of steps we’ve taken through the day, reminding us to drink water every few hours, prompting to stand every once an hour, tracking our daily food intake and also coming up with stars and awards for better performance every now and then. Advancement in technology has made many of us neglect our relationships with others as we have become masters of our lives relying upon our very own self and technology to help us through thick and thin in life. Indeed, the GPRS helps us navigate revoking the need to ask a passerby for location, virtual friends cheer for our successes and the television/mobile has become the best friend during mealtimes. Despite all these, a latest study has once again established the fact that no technology and science can replace human feelings and emotions. A new study published in a reputed journal shows that to be able to better predict your overall health and wellness one needs to simply look at the strength and structure of your close circle of friends.
Learning to Cherish Our Friends for Wellness in Life
For the study, the participants were provided Fitbits which they wore to assess their activity level, step count, sleep hours and heart rate. They also took up surveys and assessments about their feelings of stress, happiness and positivity. The research team later modeled the data using machine learning and an individual’s social network characteristics that indicate different properties such as connectivity, social balance, reciprocity and closeness within the social network. The study showed a strong correlation between social network structures, heart rate, number of steps and level of activity. These structures were more indicative of one’s health and well-being rather than using a wearable device to measure health. Using a social network structure along with data from wearables helped machine learning models achieve a 65% improvement in predicting happiness, 54% improvement in predicting one’s self-assessed health prediction, 55% improvement in predicting positive attitude and 38% improvement in predicting success.
There are many moments during which we present a Fitbit to our dear ones-their birthdays, promotions in companies or likewise. Employers too sometimes gift their employees such wearable devices to track their health. Along with that, if they also provide a platform for their employees to share their experiences and motivate each other this would ultimately help in boosting their health and well-being.
Having a laugh with your bestie, performing floor exercises or Zumba with a group of friends and playing baddie with your buddy would reap you greater benefits in terms of health as you are ought to share your worries, deal with your stressors, open up on conflicting issues and have a laugh together that would melt away many of the problems and give you energy to tackle life’s crunches with a positive frame of mind. Not one set of exercises fits all and the exercise you choose mostly depends on the type of person you are-introvert or an extrovert. To check what suits best for your characteristics and reap maximized benefits please visit www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.