For the most part, people aren’t motivated to exercise. We’d much rather be doing something fun with friends, connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, checking out the latest viral YouTube videos, or browsing neat images on Pinterest or Instagram. If it was mandatory to exercise in order for you to access your social media accounts … you would be incredibly fit in no time! On a serious note, social media platforms provide powerful tools to effectively motivate and inspire people to start moving, get exercising, eating healthier and getting fit.
Social media is (according to Wikipedia):
“an umbrella term that defines the various communicative activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos, and audio.”
It simply describes the ways people utilize technology, namely web-based and mobile, to communicate with each other. The decisions we make everyday are colored by the interactions we have with others. Traditionally, we are limited to who we physically interact with or speak to on the phone. With the social media “boom” we can literally interact with thousands of people of day and those interactions shape the thousands of decisions we make each day:
- What we do (our actions).
- What we say (our words – verbal or written).
- What we think.
- How we feel.
When it comes to social media platforms, they can provide an unlimited supply of motivation and inspiration for someone looking for a kick to get going on a workout program.
Social Media and Motivation
If you don’t think you’re affected by social media … think again! For example, because you are reading this article right now (as an internet user) you are most likely associated with one or more of the following groups (monthly average):
- 693 million active Facebook users
- 343 million active Google+ users
- 288 million active Twitter users
- 100 million active Instagram users
- 48.7 million active Pinterest users
That means you are most likely familiar with writing posts or uploading photos and/or videos online. The information you share may be affecting the lives of millions of people each and every single day! You may have contributed to the one billion Facebook posts, three billion Tweets, or 144,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube in a single day! People obviously have many things they want to share with the people in their social network.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project polled over 2,250 Americans to find out why exactly they use social media platforms in the day to day lives. The results clearly pointed to the fact that the vast majority use social media to keep in touch with acquaintances or reconnecting with former friends they may have lost touch with (91 percent of the people surveyed).
- Get the attention of others (i.e. funny, shocking, unbelievable).
- Invoke positive emotions (i.e. happiness, laughter, joy)
- Provide words of wisdom.
- Announce great accomplishments.
- Share life events and celebrations.
In essence, people like to share motivational messages and inspirational stories. Whether it’s a story about themselves, someone they know or a complete stranger … there is no lack of motivation or inspiration on social media platforms!
Social Media and Exercise Results
Motivation plays a huge role in the success of any fitness program. If you have people around you to hold you accountable to your fitness commitment and goals, it’s easier to get motivated to get the job done (i.e. workout partner, exercise group, supportive family and friends). Missing a workout or giving less than 100 percent is much easier to do when you only have to impress yourself.
- Connect with a friend who you know has the same fitness/workout goal.
- Connect with a friend who has achieved their fitness/workout goal.
- “Like” Facebook pages or “follow” Twitter feeds that provide daily fitness tips (exercises, nutrition workout ideas) or motivation messages.
- Collect motivational images (Pinterest or Instagram) and put them on your fridge.
- Bookmark motivation YouTube videos and play them when you need a “pick me up”.
Don’t forget to “pay it forward” and send out messages, comments or “likes” for those who may need a boost while they are going through the same challenges as they work towards their fitness goals. Social media is an easy way to access and connect with others. Those connections can provide the added motivation needed get to the gym, get the physical work done and get the most out of your workout program!
- Fitness Fitness Fitness (Mariah Hofstad)
- Get Moving, Get Buff (Hannah Chapman)
- Inspiration Inspiration Inspiration (Patty Hensley)
- Motivation Motivation Motivation (Amanda Haddon)
- P90X (Philip Mercado)
- TRX (6 Pack Fitness)
- Weight Loss Before and After (Vicky Bell)