“Can Web Sites and Social Media Help You Lose Weight and Become More Fit and Healthy?” Guest Post!
Sally Hughes, Founder of Planet Shark Fitness/Certified Trainer and Nutritionist is back with another great post about fitness and this one really strikes close to home– as in the way you are reading this content: on my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or wherever you can find it. Social media is embedded in the lives of many and does it have a positive or negative effect on your workouts and weight loss?
In order to achieve your health, fitness, and weight loss goals, building a support team to keep you on track is extremely helpful. While this team usually consists of family, friends, a workout buddy, and/or a fitness trainer or nutritionist, solid support can also be found online. With so many web sites and social media portals out there that are focused on health, fitness, and losing weight, where do you find the best fit for your specific goals?
The operative question to ask- is it really true that social media, itself, can help you shed pounds plus get more fit and healthy? Engaging in social media is a already a highly time-consuming sedentary task and joining more social communities means you’ll be sitting even more (vs. moving your body!) while you do your research. Yet if you need extra support, social media might just be what you’re looking for!
My thoughts behind this theory stem largely from the fact that social media is about connecting with like-minded individuals as well as finding and following experts in any given field. Since you can literally plug into ANY topic of interest including all things health-related, it makes sense that it might help you lose weight, get fit, and become more healthy in general. And while I’m a trainer not a doctor, I have zero doubt certain social media platforms + a few highly respectable web sites – all of which I use – can help you sculpt your body the right way, achieve your weight loss goals, and overcome your specific health and fitness challenges.
A great thing about facebook is that you can follow your favorite fitness mags and get lots of useful info. via your feed – simply by ‘liking’ their page – and if you abide by a mere fraction of what they post, you WILL see results. It’s also super cool that you can seek out groups and find kindred spirits who will support you by searching words like ‘fitness’ ‘health’ ‘running’ ‘weight loss’, etc. That you can create your own free group or community page and post about your healthy lifestyle journey, weight loss progress, etc. – all while connecting with a new support team! – is an added bonus.
Not only can you follow the top fitness mags plus cool peeps like Dr. Oz, you can tweet about your efforts and progress in 140 characters or less. To this end, you’re creating a mini-food diary – that’s public! – which means you’ve got to have some serious accountability. In addition, “Keeping a food diary helps you keep track of what you’re eating while realizing what foods you’re missing out on,” says Tara Diversi, spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia.
Some helpful hashtags to check out next time you’re on Twitter include: #Fitness, #Weightloss, #Health, #Runchat, #YogaADay, #FitBlog, #WeightlossWednesday and #Bodybuilding.
I can not possibly speak more highly of Pinterest in terms of providing some of the very best inspirational health and fitness images on the net! Whether you seek an inspiring photo, cool fitness quote, or nutrition infographic, etc. you WILL find it here! Not only do most major health and fitness magazines have a solid presence, you can also find some delish and healthy recipes via many Pinterest pages ~ including my own: https://pinterest.com/planetshark/healthy-foodie/
As you probably know, a blog is an online journal that’s viewable to the public. But did you know you know that you can blog about your own health and fitness adventures for free? Go to www.blogger.com to set one up then compose and post entries about your health and fitness progress, challenges, etc. Or do a little googling to find some awesome blogs to follow. Two of my long-time favorites are Coach Calorie (http://www.coachcalorie.com) and Greatist (http://www.Greatist.com).
My Fitness Pal holds you accountable for what you eat plus how often you work out while helping you meet potential workout buddies and supportive online fitness friends. Miss a few days posting on the site about working out and eating well? One word: Accountable! YES! They WILL shout that out and you will soon find yourself back at the gym plus eating better. Plus it’s a great way to meet a cycling partner, jogging buddy or someone to play tennis with. Nuff said.
Fitocracy connects you to the combined knowledge of over half a million of the world’s best fitness coaches, nutrition experts, and other folks from a wide variety of fitness backgrounds. Their tag-line probably sums it up better than I can: “Whether you’re completely new to fitness, trying to lose 20lbs, you’ve run your third New York Marathon, or can bench press twice your own bodyweight, everyone has a goal they’re trying to reach. Many Fitocrats, just like you, have already reached that goal.” Guess what–they’ll help you do the same!
The Fitbit ‘family’ motivates you to stay active, live better, and reach your goals. Their innovative products and online services harness the power of new technologies to help you be more aware of your everyday activities and motivate you to do more. Members get badges when they achieve their goals and you can meet lots of like-minded people plus tweet your results and accomplishments right from the site.
Other Great Online Communities
Sparkpeople, Daily Mile, Bodybuilding.com, LifeKraze, and Livestrong are some truly great websites with highly engaging online communities / discussion boards in which you can interact with other people who have similar fitness goals. Check ’em out and start interacting pronto and you’ll build your support team in no time.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of these social media portals and sites is that they’re kinda like the Match.com for anyone who wants to lose weight, find cool fitness buddies and become more fit and healthy. To this end, if you engage in some of the above, you’ll very likely meet your ‘match’ of like-minded people with common goals and build a virtual support team who rock your ‘fitness world’! (And come to think of it, if you’re single, you might also meet your fitness soul mate ~ WOOT!).
These are my thoughts. What are yours?
Which sites and social media portals do YOU turn to for support in terms of your specific health and fitness goals?
As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions ~ and bid you the very best!
Yours in fitness and health,
Thanks to the amazing Sally AKA Planet Shark Fitness who is MY resource for a lot of fitness and nutrition questions– big and small!!
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