May the Force Be With You…In Social Media Fitness?
Social Media is taking over the world…or at least it seems that way. People use social media for a number of reasons and with fitness and health being a trending topic, of course it has made its way into the social media realm.
Health Benefits of Social Media
Almost everyone now and days has and uses some form of social media. Whether it be facebook, twitter, pinterest, Google+, etc everyone goes on daily. It has become a habit and basically an addiction for most people.
The amount of time people spend on social media is crazy when you look at the numbers. The average american between the ages of 18-34 spend about 3.8+ hours on social media a day.
With all that time spent on social media, there is some good that can come out of it. For one our health can get better. When people see posts, products, reviews etc on their feed about health and fitness it could be very motivating and keep you on track or it could be a jump start to living a healthier lifestyle.
Perks and Downfalls of Social Media
#1: One of the advantages of using social media for your fitness and health goals are that it helps you keep track and keeps you accountable. Some popular apps include Fitocracy, MapMyRun, Extra Pounds, Daily Miles as well as numerous other apps. You can use these apps solely for yourself or you can take advantage of the “social” part and engage with others for inspiration.
#2: Information and Tips are right at your fingertips. With social media it is easy to find like minded people to chat with via Facebook, Twitter etc. Seeing updates from your favorite fitness motivator or page can make you push yourself a little harder in your workout. Social Media can also open up the doors to different races and events that you can sign up for and challenge yourself with that you may have not know otherwise.
#3: The disadvantage of having all this information at the click of a button is that anyone can put up information and create accounts. So all the information you are seeing may be invalid and incorrect so you have to think twice when adding people or following a new fitness guru. Anyone can create a blog and think that they have all the fitness answers and are a “personal trainer.” Also remember what works for one person, may not be the same for someone else. So when you see people post diet plans or what their daily menu is, remember that you are not the same person. Everyone’s body reacts different. They may eat a lot of gluten or dairy for example and your body may reject those substances in higher quantity. Everyone’s body is different, so you need to figure out what works best for you!
#4: Social Media can also give you unrealistic images of how you want your body to look. It can make you criticise yourself in ways that could be bad for your health. It is so easy for us to see a picture of our ideal healthy body and look in the mirror at our own and get discouraged. If you follow fitness pages on facebook, instagram, twitter…the list goes on and on, you are likely to have a feed full of ab shots, flexed muscles, handstand push-ups and other crazy workouts and we tend to self compare. The best advice for this would be to realize that everyone is unique, it is good to set goals and see images of fit people to keep you on track, but never be disappointed in yourself. You are one step further and ahead than your were yesterday.
Social Media seems to only be getting bigger and bigger as well as the topics of health and fitness. My advice for you is find what works best for you to be motivated to stay on track to be healthy and fit. If you find yourself becoming more discouraged than usual seeing ab photos, unfollow some pages, if you find yourself sticking to your meal plans because of a new app you downloaded, stick with it. It is ok if you fall of the wagon, it will happen. Just pick yourself back up and continue on your healthy journey!
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