Social Media and Fitness

This may not be a ‘typical’ post for me, but it’s been something that I’ve been thinking a lot about and felt the need to write about. Maybe it’s the marketer in me…

Social Media. Exercising. Healthy Living. Three things that have become staples in many of our daily lives. It seems like no matter where I log onto, people are posting/tweeting/instagramming their exercise, food or daily adventures. I’m not complaining, I’m one of those people. I find that seeing those memes or hearing about another friend’s workout adventure is motivating. It makes me want to be active.

With the warmer weather coming, I think most of us have fitness on our minds. With warm weather comes swim suits and the beach. I know I want to be ready for that!

Social media has become a means for people to boast about their fitness wins, their diet woes and their major successes. It keeps us honest. It also makes it personal and holds us accountable. If you post on Facebook, ‘Heading to the gym after work!’ and then later post ‘Forget the gym, home to sweatpants’ chances are you’re a) going to feel some form of guilt (unless of course you didn’t go to the gym because of illness) or b) probably going to get some negative response. At least this is why I have found in my own fitness journey. I am that person who posts something and doesn’t always follow through. It is my laziness shining through and I am working to change that. Why do I think this happens? More than likely,  positive feedback was received for the initial post. People were happy for you, proud of you and wanting to encourage you. When they see the latter post, it may be de-motivating for others and some may wonder why you posted your first post in the first place if you weren’t going to follow through. I’ve found that if I’m posting it to social media, I better be following through.

Here are my views on how social media plays a role in fitness:

Facebook: This is easy. You post, people respond. It’s like sharing with 600 friends your success or your failure. Granted, not all of your Facebook friends are going to respond, but it’s a mass way to tell EVERYONE, ‘I’m going to the gym today!’, ‘Wow, my muscles are really aching after that workout,’ or ‘Totally didn’t go to the gym. My couch was calling me.’

I can guarantee, each one of those will get a response. And it may not always be the response you want. But Facebook is a great motivator when it comes to fitness. It’s like having a support group constantly surrounding you and supporting you. Not only that, there are plenty of great Facebook pages devoted to health and fitness. Some of personal favorites:

  1. She Rocks Fitness
  2. Tone it Up
  3. 100 Days of Real Food
  4. Fitness Magazine

Twitter: Twitter has a cool dynamic in the health world. I’m still just diving into it, but the fitness community really appears to bond together on here. As you connect with some of the health and fitness folks, you’re exposed to great tips, recipes and blogs. As I’ve made my journey into a healthier lifestyle, I’ve found many of these Twitter members motivating and helpful. I love seeing what they have to say, and since most of them blog too, I look forward to reading their blogs everyday! A few personal favorites:

  1. PeaceLoveandLowCarb – @PeaceLoveLoCarb
  2. Nurtitionella, MPH RD – @nutritionella
  3. Bess Be Fit – @bessharrington
  4. FitFluential – @FitFluential

Another awesome way Twitter functions in the health realm is their use of hashtags. Hashtags are great way to keep similar posts in one easily searchable area. One of my favorites is #SweatPink. It’s mostly all women, but it’s a lot of motivation and a lot of great people who are are living the healthy life!

Pinterest: Motivation. Motivation. Motivation. Seriously. If you are looking for motivation, join Pinterest and check out their Health and Fitness pins. You can find workouts, memes, and motivational quotes that will keep you moving. When I’m having a down day, I just hop on and take a look and am usually ready to rock and roll after that!

Instagram: Instagram is a visual Twitter. You can have followers and use hashtags to tag your picture so they can be found. It’s a cool way to show your cool new running sneakers, what you’ve been eating throughout the day and your latest workout that you were so proud of. Personally, I love Instagram. It makes my pictures look cool and it’s fun to use.

I know, I’m looking into this too much. I look at the use of Social Media as a way to fuel my exercise and my healthy living. Like I said above, it keeps ME honest. But at the same time, when I recently hit my first milestone (5 lbs!), I posted to Facebook and the feedback I got from it was incredible and really made me push. I couldn’t wait to post my 10 lb, 20 lb and eventually 30 lb milestone.

In today’s world, I think Social Media is great way to get healthy and stay healthy. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I know by posting my progress and my wins, I feel one step closer every day!

And for the record, I don’t consider myself in any way, shape or form an expert. I’m merely expressing my views on how I see Social Media fitting into the realm of health and fitness. There are plenty of others out there that are far more knowledgable than I am. Remember, this blog is just chronicling my journey and my thoughts 🙂

Stay tuned… at some point I’ll be posting a post about Apps!

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