About Social Support

SOCIAL SUPPORT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION

Maintaining social networks and building new ones are important to the adherence and growth of your physical activity participation.

Often when we think of social support, in regards to physical activity, we focus mainly on support from others. We try to find someone to be physically active with and think that is all we need, or all there is. Actually, social support can encompass so much more. It can be broken down into three main categories: emotional support, tangible support, and informational support. (Vrazel, Saunders, & Wilcox, 2008)

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Support from important people in your life:

This could be spouses or significant others, family, friends, and community. Women with greater levels of support from families or friends are significantly more likely to be physically active, and maintain their physical activity long-term. This can come in different forms. It could be a family member encouraging you to be physically active or maybe even taking a walk with you once in awhile, or could also be a friend who goes to a workout class with you.

TANGIBLE SUPPORT

Have time to be physically active.

Help or assistance with tasks that are associated with multiple roles, such as household chores or caring for children, in order to have time to be physically active. Increasing partner support can be an instrumental part of this. Letting your partner know that their help with these tasks would allow you to have the time to be more physically active is a great place to start.

INFORMATIONAL SUPPORT

Information and assistance from health professionals and important others.

This can be provided verbally or through print and internet sources. An important aspect of this for women is to seek out information about women. For example health benefits of physical activity for women, exercises for women, or strategies for incorporating physical activity into women’s lives.

Don’t forget to use the Fit Minded blog and discussion board to access social support.

Next step

Complete an activity and learn How to Get Social Support.

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