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Lifestyle is the Best Medicine

At Ambera we love to get inspired, and this TED talk goes right to the core of what Ambera is about: Creating social communities where it is easy to live a healthy life. Ambera Communities are designed to remove the obstacles that keep us from living the lives we want. Not by telling people how to act or think and leaving them to get on with it, but by making it easy to make the good choices.

It’s often difficult to make healthy decisions – but does it have to be?

In this TED Talk, Dr. Meagan Grega discusses how the communities and environments we live in shape the choices we make. If ordering the large bucket of popcorn at the cinema is the ‘default’ choice in your community, something as simple as ordering the medium bucket (or a salad!) will feel like you’re rebelling.

As Grega points out, many of the people who order the large bucket may not even like popcorn – it’s just that it’s the thing everybody does – and going along with it is easier than “rebelling”, even if, deep down, you’d rather avoid the popcorn altogether.

We tend to make these kinds of decisions a lot – the exclusive Mediterranean restaurant a few miles away is amazing, but McDonald’s is cheaper, and it’s just up the road. You know you will feel great on your way home from the gym, but it’s raining outside, it’s time for your favourite soap, and the sofa is calling to you. Should you go for immediate comfort, or long-term satisfaction?

Undecided, you look across the street and see your neighbour through the window. See? He’s watching the football! He’s not out running – of course he’s not, it’s pouring down! You breathe a sigh of relief and – in kinship with your like-minded neighbour – retreat to the sofa’s warm embrace to enjoy the rest of your evening. Sound familiar?

Going against the grain takes a lot of work, and it takes even more to do it consistently. But what if you lived somewhere that made the healthy decisions – the ones you’d rather make – easier than the “bad” ones?

What if that amazing Greek place with the delicious souvlaki was right across the street, instead of a 30-minute trek into town? Would you still go to McDonald’s? Would you still catch up with the soaps rather than work out if the gym was right next door? If your neighbour had already packed his training bag and was on his way out the door heading for the gym, you would probably be more tempted to get your energy up and hit the gym, too.

As a homeowner in Ambera, you’ll always have everything – from swimming pools and tennis courts to yoga classes and hiking trails – available within walking distance, whenever the fancy takes you. Our staff and your fellow residents will organise clubs and activities that make it easy for you to connect with people who share your interests. And they will nudge you into making the healthier choices if you want the help.

What’s more, if it takes less effort to do all the things you want, you’ll have time to hit the gym, swing by the Greek place, and kick back with a glass of Spanish red before the Eastenders intro is done rolling. No guilt, no fuss, just another day at Ambera.