[dropcap]I[/dropcap]s it time to ditch expensive fitness trackers for a free alternative?
Alongside a barrage of fitness social networks, trackers and apps, can the large social networks be a cheap, easy method of increasing your health and fitness? Here are 5 ways you can use social media to increase your health and wellbeing, and meet your fitness goals!
1. Group Chats!
Create a group chat with your gym buddies! A study from the University of Pennsylvania studied how a person’s social network can influence their exercise habits. They found that when a network was created between peers who exercise, positive social cues encourage them to exercise more. So, whether it be Whatsapp, or Facebook messenger, create a group chat and add all your likeminded fitness enthusiasts!
2. Instagram – Diet!
Social networks are not only a great tool for motivation. They can be used to track your diet (it is imperative to have a good diet alongside trying to get fit). A new study from the University of Washington has shown how using Instagram can be used to track food intake and ultimately help to improve it. Creating this photo diary helps users to stay honest and provide tangible evidence to what they eat. It also provides a social pressure to keep up with their diet and meet their health goals!
3. Instagram/Facebook/Timehop – changes!
If you haven’t had a chance to get hold of a certain revolutionary personal body scanner, tracking changes can be difficult and unreliable. Through the use of Instagram and Facebook, if you post regular updates of your figure over-time, you will be able to see changes more clearly than two pictures spread far apart. The use of memories on Facebook and Timehop can also be used as a reminder of how you used to look, which can be a great source of motivation!
4. Snapchat Streaks!
A recent study by Professor Damon Centola highlighted how social media can create a social competition within friend groups encouraging them to increase fitness. A way to facilitate this competition is through Snapchatting your friends, specifically ‘Snapstreaks’. These quantify the consecutive days you have chatted with someone when applied to a workout these could encourage both friends to work-out! The inherent competition to keep the ‘Snapstreak’ going will lead both friends to achieve their goals.
5. Follow fitness bloggers for motivation and tips!
Twitter is an excellent source of motivation, diet tips and exercise information. Accounts such as @goodhealth, @BornFitness and @breakingmuscle have thousands of followers all utilizing the knowledge they share to improve their workouts. They help to motivate through motivational quotes and images. They provide recipes, diet advice and new studies and articles to keep you updated with the latest fitness trends. Finally, they provide exercise plans, video tutorials and tips on how to make the most of your workout.
To conclude, these five ways are free, easily accessible ways to help you meet your fitness goals. However, the effectiveness is also dependent on you. If you respond strongly to social pressures these tips are more likely to work for you. A more reliable method of reaching your targets would be to invest in a cutting-edge personal body scanner such as ShapeScale, utilizing social networks alongside.
Written by Sam Robson