Friends influence our behaviors, for better or for worse. If our friends eat a healthy diet, we are more likely to. If our friends are active, we are more likely to be. And the trend goes the other direction as well; hang out with people who do not move or eat well and you are more likely to do the same.
Yet, I think our broader culture has as much, if not more, of an influence.
In communities where being active is the norm, you see people out regardless of the weather, and there are more events to participate in. You are definitely not alone.
In communities that are less healthy, the infrastructure may be less conducive to activity, and, if prone to being lazy (like me), that will feel more ‘normal’. Additionally, it’s simply not as much fun to ride a bike or run in a community without good sidewalks and bike lanes, and where drivers are less friendly.
This is not to say that we should use our community as an excuse not to live the life we desire. Instead, it’s something to consider in choosing where and how you want to live. And, if in a community that is less healthy, you can surely find a healthy community within; it just may take more effort. You might even find a great virtual community to keep you happy and healthy, while also looking for the beauty in your own community regardless of where it is.