It's The Company You Keep

Is getting healthy merely a matter of hanging out with healthier people?  It just might be in Colorado!

Recently my family and I took a trip to Denver, Colorado for a national fastpitch softball tournament.  We spent an entire week there, and one thing that we noticed (other than the gorgeous scenery of the Rocky Mountains), was the large number of people outside jogging, riding bikes, walking pets, or participating in other types of exercise.  I'm not kidding when I say it seemed quite weird to me.  It had a very 'Stepford Wives' feel to it.  The number of workout clubs was stunning as well.

My family and I live in Oklahoma, and we do have the occasional biker, jogger or walker, but they're few and far between.  We also have a few exercise clubs, but to be honest, they're mostly empty.

Not coincidentally, according to americashealthrankings.org, Oklahoma ranked 49th out of 50th in 2009 for overall 'healthiness', and has been continually getting worse year after year.  Colorado has been consistently around the number 8 mark for many years now.  I'm very curious about why. It can't just be the mountains.

One of the local fans at one of our softball games had rode there on his bike, and I asked him why so many more people in Colorado seemed to be involved in physical activities for their health.  He said simply that 'everybody is doing it, so you feel bad if you don't too'.

Is it that easy?

If you don't have 'healthy lifestyle friends' to hang out with, in hopes that their habits rub off on you, become a trend setter yourself!  For most of us, our entire families need to become more active and switch to a much healthier diet.  In many cases, it only takes one family member to decide to make a difference, and the whole family benefits as well.  Perhaps a family bike ride a couple of times per week wouldn't be too much to ask.

Build a community of healthy lifestyle people around you, and it's much easier to stay with it.

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