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Community Matters- Why Building Connections Fuels Your Health Journey - VSMG WellStyles Program

Community Matters: Why Building Connections Fuels Your Health Journey

Positive behaviors like eating balanced meals and implementing a daily exercise routine are contagious; they spread from one person to another, like a viral TikTok video. 

While you might make initial headway implementing these changes on your own, studies show the key to long-lasting behavior change is community support.

Blue Zones: The Power of Community

Blue Zones serve as global examples of communities establishing and fostering long-lasting behavior change. These communities inhabit the highest concentration of people living and thriving to 100 years or older. What makes them truly remarkable? 

Despite their geographic diversity, Blue Zones share common health-promoting characteristics. These include a focus on sufficient sleep, regular physical activity, and a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, Blue Zones demonstrates how culture, traditions, and social norms shape individuals’ lifestyles and contribute to overall well-being.

In Blue Zones, social connections and community engagement are deeply ingrained. The presence of strong intergenerational relationships, a sense of belonging, and community support systems foster a climate conducive to healthy behaviors. This demonstrates that “finding your tribe” might just be the magic ingredient to long-lasting healthy behaviors. So, where do you, a WellStyles Champion, fit into the tribe?

WellStyles Champions: The Catalyst for Change

You’re the conductor, director, and dare-we-say guru, of your community’s positive health trajectory toward long-term success. Armed with knowledge and resources from your WellStyles team, you lead by example and build a sense of “togetherness” when it comes to making lasting changes yourself and influencing your peers to do the same.

Supporting healthy behaviors at your organization may include inviting colleagues on a walk during a lunch break, assisting someone with registering for the WellStyles platform, or spreading the word about the wealth of knowledge and actionable takeaways offered in our monthly Wellness Window webinars. Much like the Blue Zone projects that focus on transforming communities around the world to support health, your commitment and involvement as a WellStyles Champion also has the potential to change your organization’s culture for good. 

Three Ways to Foster Community and Connection at Your Organization

Be a role model: When healthy behaviors are modeled and practiced within a community, they appear attainable and serve as inspiration for others. If you haven’t done so already, immerse yourself in all of the health and wellness resources available through the WellStyles program and use them to change your health. The best encouragement you can offer your peers is showing them how effortless and rewarding living a healthy lifestyle can be.  

Offer support and accountability: When individuals are part of a supportive community, they have access to encouragement, motivation, and accountability. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who share health goals provides the necessary support to stay committed and overcome challenges. Additionally, strong social connections contribute to emotional well-being. Feeling understood by others reduces feelings of loneliness and makes challenges manageable. 

Share knowledge and resources: Communities foster knowledge sharing and easy access to resources. As WellStyles Champions, you’ll become an expert in the WellStyles program so you can direct your colleagues to the resources they need, right when they need them. 

By being a positive influence, offering consistent support and accountability, and sharing wellness resources, you will be a catalyst for the community and connections that are crucial to support sustained behavior change. 

If you are a WellStyles Champion, we encourage you to take a step towards establishing a sense of community and fostering meaningful connections by joining the upcoming Champion Check-In on August 9 at 4 p.m. We’ll cover what it means to be a WellStyles Champion, how to access WellStyles resources, what to expect from your WellStyles team and how to get in touch with us.

You can find the registration link on 1) the Champion Resource page or 2) within August’s The Champ newsletter.

Our Employee Wellness Program

If you enjoy this type of information and would like to learn more about Valley Schools’ exclusive wellness program, WellStyles, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!

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