As much as I try to unplug, I admit I am pretty glued to my phone. It’s hard to resist looking at my friend's funny memes on Facebook or the newest picture from my favorite account on Instagram. We are surrounded by apps everywhere and it’s pretty easy to see that social media has become a way of life for many of us.
This can be a positive thing or not, depending on how you use it. I have found that while social media can be distracting, sucking up lots of free time that could be spent doing other, more productive things, it can also be a powerful tool when it comes to fitness. Here are some ways I use social media to motivate my own fitness journey.
Use it indirectly to motivate you while you work out- I admit it. I’m that person on the treadmill going at a fast-paced walk and glued to my phone. I often will pick stuff I need to get done (like answering emails for instance) and save it for my time at the gym. I may not be getting a super cardio workout, but it’s better I’m moving than not while I do these mundane tasks. If you don’t have any tasks to do, use your treadmill time for facebook instead. (Don’t walk around outside on it, though, as this could make you distracted to the point where you are unsafe.)
Use social apps for fitness- There are a few apps out there that I really enjoy that are social media and fitness related. If virtual points move you, try Fitocracy. If you want to chat with others and have access to lots of information related to fitness, I enjoy Sparkpeople. PumpUp is like an instagram for fitness folks with with free workouts.
Post your pictures to keep yourself motivated and find like-minded others- Even if you don’t join a specific fitness social network, there are still plenty of like-minded people out there to connect with. I like to post to my Instagram account and use hashtags that draw in the people I want to connect with. I find I gain followers and get a little “love” this way and that keeps me motivated. In fact, I will often post a picture right before I work out and watch people comment and like it to motivate me right during my workout when I need it the most.
Follow inspirational people- One way to like to stay motivated when I feel like giving up is to follow people that are like me (plus size fitness folks or plus size runners, for instance) so that I can see them in my feed and feel motivated by it. Often, just a motivational meme they post will convince me to keep at it.
Ask for support and stay accountable- When I was trying to train for my first 5K, I reached out to my friends on Facebook to motivate me when I wasn’t feeling it. They would give me mini-speeches about how great it will feel when I do my first 5K. Now, I post some selfies and share my struggles with getting over a fitness hump and I get lots of advice, love and support and it keeps me going.
Read more by Christine here.