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How to Use Social Media to Reach Your Fitness Goals
We have reached the end of our Top Ten New Year's Resolutions blog series and the final aspiration for 2015 is (drumroll, please): Losing weight! Surprised? Yea, neither were we. But, just because it's the typical resolution, doesn't mean it shouldn't get the same amount of attention as the others. Which is why we're taking a different approach to tackling the desire to lose weight this year: using social media!
What keeps you from going to the gym consistently and eating right for all three meals? Time, right? We get so caught up in our schedules that we don't find the hour to go to the gym or spare the minutes to cook up something healthy as opposed to stopping by the Wendys on the way home. Over time we get used to skipping out on our diet and workout routine and, eventually, our New Year's Resolution to lose weight is put on hold until next year.
Now there are plenty of different ways to tacke the weight loss dilemma, but for this blog post we want to help you figure out how to set up consistent reminders that keep you from forgoing your resolution and being content with an unhealthy lifestyle. Most of us spend way too much time on social media. So, let's utilize this addiction! Below are ways for turning the most popular social media platforms into sources of inspiration, encouragement, networking, and accountability so you stay on track with your goal to lose weight this year!
Why Social Media?
Social media is the TV of our generation. It is popular, influential, addictive, and largely untapped for the good it could do in the world. Being healthy is a universal goal, almost everyone wants to look and feel good. So, why not utilize social media and help our readers connect how they're spending their time ("liking" cat pictures on FB) and how they should be spending their time (breakin' a sweat on the elliptical). Also, social media is a bridge between people of different locations, demographics, generations, and interests. With common goals like "working out" or "eating organic," social media provides an amazing network of people just like you and me who are trying to navigate how to properly take care of this thing called the human body.
Facebook for Support, Twitter for Tracking
Facebook and Twitter are the two most well-known social media platforms. While we typically use them for liking silly statuses and following our favorite celebrities, we think that FB and Twitter can be used to help keep us on track and feeling supported by our friends and family.
Instagram for Inspiration
Instagram is now more popular than Twitter, having just hit the 3 million user mark (Our Social Times). There are scores of people out there who are staying healthy and documenting their fitness routines on Instagram. This might not be the place to learn how to do that pretzel-esque yoga pose, but it sure is the place to inspire you to keep up with your workout routine.
Showing us that there are no excuses when it comes to getting fit. Krystal survived a car crash that left her with an amputated arm, yet her Instagram shows her defying the odds as an adaptive Crossfit athlete. If you need inspiration to hit the gym, look no further than Krystal's pictures.
My Name is Jessamyn
One of our favorite yoga gurus on Instagram is @MyNameisJessamyn. Her #SizeDoesn'tMatter Challenge In November 2014 was a great example of her encouragement for people of all sizes to find peace and empowerment through exercising the body.
Patrick Beach is basically a master of the handstand. He's also an amazing yoga instructor and his Instagram account is full of poses, classes, stretches, and other pics that will make you want to sign up for that intro to yoga class at the gym.
Feeling down about missing the gym? Need a boost of confidence to get off the couch and into your gym shoes? This Instagram account is a community built on keeping people like you and me motivated.
Full of quotes, healthy meals, pictures of folks burning some calories, and other inspirational images, FitFluential provides a community of fellow health enthusiaists to keep you going!
So this guy was apparently born without fear. Of heights, at least. Alex is the guy that posts pictures on the edge of huge mountains or when he's scaling a tall building. If you need inspiration to simply get on the treadmill, then Alex shoud provide plenty of it.
Pinterest for Practical Guides
If Instagram is where you go to get inspired, then Pinterest is where you go to get answers. How can you make gluten-free pancakes? What's a good way to train for a 5k? Are there ways to workout from home? These are the types of questions that you can get answered on Pinterest. For those that are new to the platform, Pinterest is basically a digital corkboard where people can "pin" interesting posts, articles, pictures, etc. and share them with the other 300 million active users around the world (Business News Daily). Below are just a handful of the many categories under "health & fitness" available on Pinterest.
Whether you're looking to boost your metabolism, lose unwanted belly fat, know which foods to throw out of your pantry, or the best foods to eat in order to lose those last few pounds, Pinterest has got you covered. With tips from trusted bloggers to healthy eating rules that you can print out and put on the fridge, these dieting tips come in many forms and you are sure to find the guides to help you lose weight and better your body.
Our favorite healthy eating Pinterest boards (a fancy way to say "profiles") are: Healthy Eating by Real Simple; Work Out/Diet Tips by Laurey West; Diet Tips/Healthy by Cathy Grandstaff; Healthy Eating by Health Magazine; and Healthy Eats by Pam O'Connell
Guides for Race Training
Whether you're just beginning running or you're practically a pro, racing is a great way to stay in shape and have fun doing it. You can do a 5k, a half-marathon, a marathon, a du-atholon, a tri-atholon, the options are pretty diverse. Pinterest has some great stuff on how to train for a race, the distances you should be running to prepare for different types of races, how to get through long runs, and what mistakes to avoid the day of the race.
Working Out at Home
Sometimes getting to the gym just isn't a possibility. Whatever the reason, we know that it happens but we don't want that to turn into an excuse to skip your workout. Pinterest is full of creative people who have pinned great guides for working out at home. Who knew your couch could be used for tricep dips instead of naps?
Yoga & Pilates
Some of us have the time to do sun salutations every morning and ease into the day with a few downward dogs. Others have no idea what those words mean. Whether you're new to the world of yoga and pilates or turning your body into a pretzel is a regular routine for you, Pinterest has some great guides for yoga & pilates workouts.
Healthy Habits for Working Parents
Last, but certainly not least, Pinterest has some great resources for moms and dads who would love to get to the gym but can't seem to find the time... or their shoes, which are hidden somewhere under the pile of toys & laundry. Whether you want exercises for the whole family, some lifehacks that will help you get in cardio or strength training when you're on the go, or just ways to battle your consistent lack of energy, Pinterest has got you covered.
How Are You Planning on Losing Weight This Year?
Let us know how you're weight loss plans are going and whether you use social media to stay motivated, informed, and on track with your weight loss goals. Fill up those comments and drop us a word on Facebook!