Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter— these are just a few of the dozens of social media avenues available to you and me. People use these social media in many amazing ways – such as: recording their weight loss journeys, sharing new diet plans, and celebrating fitness goals.
But just as there are positive uses of social media related to fitness, there are negative uses as well.
Discover the good and bad of social media and fitness— and find out how your interaction with social media may help or hinder your progress.
Let’s start with some of the amazing things about social media today!
A Source for Healthy Recipes and Diet Plans
Social networks can be a wonderful place to find delicious recipes, along with reviews from people who have already tried them. If you’re pursuing a specific diet, such as the paleo diet, vegan diet, or gluten-free diet, you may find that sourcing recipes online is a must.
You can find gourmet recipes, quick-and-easy recipes, kid-friendly recipes— no matter what the diet may be, someone else has tried it and has probably shared the recipes for their favorite tasty meals and treats.
A Fresh Perspective
Perhaps the greatest gift available through social media is the gift of a new perspective on fitness. We all tend to get tunnel vision sometimes— we’re so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our personal lives that we lose the “big picture” view.
By joining an online community, you gain a window into the lives of others. The view is not always accurate, of course; but it does offer you a chance to see things differently, and to challenge your way of thinking.
You might learn something new about how your body works, or gain insight into what types of exercises might be effective for you. You may discover a new way of thinking about food, or a daily routine that incorporates exercise more practically for you.
A Support Group During Your Fitness Journey
Perhaps you don’t have many close friends who are following the same type of wellness journey that you are pursuing.
Through social media, you can link up with others in your age group, or with women who face your particular health challenges or body image struggles. It’s refreshing to connect with these kindred spirits!
Their comments and support can help you get through tough times and find fresh motivation when you need it.
In my experience, these are the main 2 issues that we face with social media. And they can actually make a huge difference to your self-esteem and your progress.
Danger of an Inaccurate View
On social media networks, people typically post what they want others to see— the good stuff. So instead of posting a photo of the empty bag of chips they just finished eating, they’ll post the lovely green salad they had for lunch.
It’s important to remember that what you’re seeing isn’t the whole story. None of the people you follow are perfect. They have days when they struggle to eat healthy or fail to achieve their exercise goals. Enjoy their successes, but know that failure exists in their lives, too.
A Temptation to Compare
When you see gorgeous photos of someone on social media doing yoga, running, showing off her abs, or eating super healthy foods, you might end up comparing yourself to her. I am often guilty of this too.
Remember, no two women are the same. You might not have the same body type, or you may legitimately have fewer opportunities to exercise due to work, kids, or other responsibilities. Or you may simply be at a different stage in your health and fitness journey.
Let the successes of others inspire you, but don’t compare yourself to them. Comparison leads to discouragement, and discouragement leads to giving up. Focus on yourself, your body, your health, and your goals! You can do this!
Have you found the perfect balance between the good and bad of social media and fitness?
I’d love to hear about some ways that an online community has given you support or fresh ideas as you travel your own path to fitness.