Saturday, August 8, 2015

Why your girlfriends can be your best ally in health!

August is a great month! Aside from my birthday being in August, we also get to celebrate National Girlfriends Day!  There is nothing like a strong female bond.  Every woman has that one special friend or group of friends that she can confide in, share with, grow from, celebrate with, learn from, mourn with and have fun with! 

“Friendship between women is different than friendship between men. We talk about different things. We delve deep. We go under, even if we haven’t seen each other for years." — Jane Fonda
Why your girlfriends can be your best ally in health!

Girlfriends can offer great support:
Whatever the issue, your girlfriends are always there to support you.  It's no different when it comes to your health.  We have all experienced going out or going to a gathering when trying to eat healthy, where everyone is indulging and you try your best to satisfy yourself off that one tray of veggies and dip, order a salad and watch everyone else eat a mouth-watering meal in front of you - or avoid the situation entirely and stay home because you feel uncomfortable.  Great friends should support your efforts and encourage you.  What better way then to all support one another in bettering your health!  
We all know we need to take care of our bodies and a big way is by what we put into it.
  Instead of making get-togethers about going out and indulging, instead use it as a time to enjoy a nice healthy meal and catch up with one another.  It is always easier to stay focused and on track when you have another's support, or you do something together. Encouraging each other to eat healthier will make it easier to avoid temptation and motivate you to take care of yourself.  
 Another great way to do that is to shop together. When you shop alone, it's easier to load the cart with items you know you shouldn't.  Making a point to stock up on healthier food with friends helps you stick to getting what it is you really want and not being tempted. Besides, she can always put that platter of cheesecake back on the display when you are not looking.  Another reason I love shopping with friends is that you learn new things.  There are many things I know about food that my friends don't and vice-versa.  While I can help my friend understand the difference between cooking oils, she can inform me on an ingredient in one of my packaged foods I didn't know about.  It's also a great way to learn about new foods, products or meals. I love finding new things or ways to prepare different foods from my friends.

Girlfriends can motivate you:We all know how hard it is to maintain an active lifestyle.  You join a gym, you go for a few months, never to be heard from again.  You buy that workout DVD and use it once.  For many reasons, it's hard for women to stay motivated, find the time, or have the energy to work out.  Making it a priority to be active together will make it easier and more fun.  It's a lot more enjoyable to go for a walk and talk with friends than trying to force yourself off the couch to take a walk.  Make dates to do fun activities.  You don't have to join a gym together to "work-out".  Doing a dance workout in front of the TV becomes more of a party and less of a work out when you can laugh and have fun with your friend. This will also help hold you accountable, since it's easier to break plans with yourself. Even if you can't get together all the time to work out, encouraging one another is great as well.  My best friend lives three states away right now, so we don't have the option to take a bike ride together or go on a hike, but we encourage each other to keep up with our efforts.  We also participate in fun activities when we can - getting together to tackle 5k's with obstacles is one of our favorites.  
Taking on something like that is a lot less of a workout and more fun when you do it with friends.  Though I couldn't be with her a few years ago as she trained for a physical exam, I sent weekly encouragement cards to help keep her motivated. I love that she still displays them on her fridge today!

My cousin Nikki is a great inspiration and a wonderful example.  She is a teacher, wife and mother to two young girls (three and one), yet still finds time to be active and stay in shape.  
She is always posting photos of her activities with her friends.  They get together to work out, run, train and support one another.  What's even more amazing is that they do it with their children!   

Girlfriends can endure with you: 
We all know that there are certain things you only tell your best girlfriends!  We are sometimes most comfortable talking about 
 personal health issues with them.  I know I'm more likely to talk to my friend about female issues rather than my husband.  Every year that passes, it becomes more and more important to be on top of your health and preventative care.  Unfortunately, many woman don't pay enough attention to their own health until it's too late.  Whether you can't find the time or would just rather avoid a trip to the doctor, this is a great opportunity to do something together that could potentially save your life.  Going together can take the stress out of it and make it more relaxing.  Especially as it comes time for things like the dreaded mammogram, turn it into a yearly routine and go with your best friend.  I have gone and supported my friend at the dentist because she is particularly not fond of going there. Your friends are usually the ones you can rely on to be brutally honest with you as well! They can be great at calling your attention to matters you may be ignoring. 

It's always nice to not go it alone, especially when you are trying to break bad habits.  Quitting smoking can be a rather hard experience, but doing it alongside a friend can make the process much easier.  Maybe you want to cut down one your drinking? Having that support and ally can help you more easily make lifestyle changes that affect your health. 

When you come together and support one another you can accomplish great things! I am lucky and grateful to have wonderful friends in my life! Check out the infographic below from Oscar Health Insurance Company. They're a new insurance company looking to help their members be proactive of their health. I hope their checklist will help inspire you to make healthy choices with your girlfriends! If you're in their area, check out their health insurance plans in New York and New Jersey.

How can you be an ally to your friends?


  1. Great Post HFL! Every woman needs her Yaya's...friends that will drop everything if you need them even if you haven't seen them in months. Throughout all of "herstory" women have come together to achieve amazing things!

  2. Hi!!!

    Your post got me thinking how many of checks i have done based on the recommendation from the road map to health. Interesting post!!!

    I am stopping by from