By Jennifer Coppit
Do you network? Perhaps you network to improve your sphere of influence at work or in community efforts. Most of us learn early on that sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know. But think about this: When it comes to your health, does who you hang around with matter?
In a recent blog posted to Y-USA’s Exchange website, the reader was challenged to consider this: Are you doing everything you can to stay healthy such as eating healthy, hitting the proverbial gym, taking time to de-stress, etc. and still find yourself sliding backwards sometimes? Why is that? Is it because you are undisciplined or lacking in some sort of miracle set of genetic blessings? Or could it be about who you are hanging around with?
If networking is a helpful skill one can use to increase the sphere of influence in the workplace then it would make sense that networking with others committed to healthy living would be beneficial as well. That’s not to say that you should drop anyone you know who hasn’t started that journey yet, but take a moment and consider how you might further your own journey in healthy living by seeking out others on the same path. It’s not necessarily about role modeling or mentoring. Often it’s having a sense of camaraderie with like-minded others.
And let’s not forget our youth. Who are they hanging around with? It’s important that we not only consider our own sphere of influence but also the sphere of influence in which our family members move. How about your aging parent or grandparent? Who are they “hanging out” with that could positively influence their motivation to stay active?
The Green Valley Y is a part of the YMCA of Frederick County Association, which is a part of one of the largest international non-profit networks of Ys committed to building a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. This association is one of the largest non-profits in Frederick County and works closely with FMH, FCPS, FCC, the Health Department and many local friends in the health and wellness realm to provide services and programs for youth development, social responsibility and healthy living.
The Y not only offers youth sports and fitness programs on the Urbana property between Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School, but we also have programs specifically for seniors to improve mobility and energy, motor skills development for the little ones, nutrition classes such as our Sugar Busters program, cooking and meal planning and youth leadership development for our teens via programs such as the Y Earth Services Corp.
South County has a lot to offer all of us in terms of finding like-minded people to “hang out” with on our journey of healthy living. For information, tap into your neighborhood message boards, take a minute to study the ads given in this very publication or just Google it. It’s all here. Help us to help you and yours!
Editor’s Note: After almost 10 years as a high school Spanish teacher, Jennifer Coppit fell in love with the YMCA’s mission statement and has worked for the Y for the past 14 years in leadership development, aquatics and now as executive director of the Green Valley YMCA in Monrovia.