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When the pandemic started, the advice we were given right away was simple: stay inside, shut
your doors, and don’t see anyone outside of your “pod.”

Many of us did it, we obliged. We shut our social lives down, canceled our trips, and decided to
cut off hugs and handshakes.

But what happens when human connection is lost like that for months? What happens to our
brains, our energy and how do we lift our spirits?

While we go through this pandemic, we’re seeing another epidemic, and it’s one of loneliness.
Have you noticed it can feel harder than ever to talk to people right now when you do leave your
house? It’s almost like a muscle you haven’t worked in a while.

We used to be chatting it up at the coffee shop with strangers and now, you have to relearn how
to ask the person in the drive-through window how their day is. In fact, NOT talking to people,
NOT engaging, is actually taking away the human connection we need to legitimately survive
and thrive.

What is Human Connection? Human connection is an energy exchange between people who
are actually paying attention to one another. It has the power to deepen the moment, inspire
change and build trust. It’s human connection that is the best form of wellness. Because
without it? People are sick.

Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even
more dangerous than obesity.

That’s according to Douglas Nemecek, MD, chief medical officer for behavioral health, Cigna,
whose team did a study on loneliness.

Even in Canada – the findings, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences earlier in
June, show how social isolation can negatively affect the health of the brain as well as the
immune system. In the study they talk about, how the tighter someone is embedded in a
network of friends, the less likely they are to become ill. “The higher your social capital, the
faster you get better if you fall ill, the quicker you recover from surgery, and the longer you will
live.” And in this same study, they also talk about how endorphins CREATE friendships.

So, yes there’s a reason you feel chattier after that 45-minute sweat session. You’re ready and
open for human connection!

Typically, the success indicators we look at for our personal wellness are things like cholesterol
numbers or iron levels, muscle mass, etc. But, what you may not realize is that how much
positive interaction you get with another human could be the best success indicator you’ve ever
had.

Everyone has found their own way of coping in this pandemic and figuring out what works for
them. But what you can get at our studio, is not just a sweat session, but a powerful connection
to other humans who genuinely need that same energy back. Whether it’s 2 minutes of chatting
before class or just an air five across the room, we can fight the pandemic together by showing
up and putting in the work to connect with each other.

So, there’s your reminder and your wellness tip of the week. We’re here to help you harness this
power of connection. After all,, this is an opportunity for us to realize something we may not
have fully known before: it’s the people around us who provide meaning in our lives, and truly,
keep us living.

Natalie Micale is a Master Cycle Instructor at Fly Fitness. She’s been teaching for 3 years and
she’s passionate about storytelling and fitness. When she’s not at Fly, Natalie runs a creative
marketing agency, helping brands connect to people all over the world.

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