Is Social Media Beneficial Or Harmful When Working Towards A Fitness Goal?

Social media is so interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Many have taken to these networks to share snippets of their daily routines, and to show off successes and progress. The fitness community on social media is wide-reaching, with a hefty number of diet and wellness pages/profiles to follow.

You may also notice friends posting gym pictures or photographs of their healthy meals for others to see and like. On top of that, many fitness apps even come with an option to sync or share progress on social media.

All this can make you pretty excited to start using these platforms in similar ways, or might urge you to follow some advice-filled accounts for tips and tricks. But is social media really beneficial for you when you’re working towards a fitness goal? Let’s look at the pros and the cons.

The Pros

It’s Good Motivation
Being surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people aiming for the same thing as you can make you feel incredible motivated. You’ll find people with your body type, people who face the same struggles as you, and people who will keep you going when you feel like giving up. Sometimes, posting your goals and progress on social networking sites may even help you stick to them.

You Have Access to a Sea of Information
There is endless data available through social media. You can find products, diet plans, exercise routines, and excellent advice that can really help you achieve more during your fitness journey. Best of all, it’s completely free. You can follow a personal trainer on Instagram and watch videos of his workouts without needing to pay for his services. And in all honesty, that’s pretty neat!

You Become Part of a Community
Being part of a health-driven community means that you’ll never be short of people to turn to, discuss ideas with, and get personalized advice from. You may even gain a few workout buddies! Yes, there are bad seeds in every group, but you’ll ultimately find like-minded acquaintances who can encourage you to grow while you, in turn, encourage them. There’s no better feeling!

The Cons

Anyone and Everyone Can Share “Advice”
The number of “bloggers” and “fitness gurus” who are actually just out to make a quick buck or gain some fame can make finding good people to follow a tricky task. Many may offer terrible advice and get you off to the wrong start. Keep in mind that even the best of fitness personalities may sell out once in a while and promote a fad diet or an expensive product that makes ridiculous claims and promises. Avoid the fraudsters and check for qualifications. Legit bloggers and gurus will be more than welcome to share their qualifications and achievements with you.

It’s Not All Real
A social media picture, perfectly framed and shot so as to show someone’s best angles and finished off with a caption followed by tens upon tens of hashtags, isn’t a good representation of real life. It’s a photograph taken out of context. It presents these fitness gurus as something more than human with a perfect lifestyle and all the free time in the world to burn off that many calories per day. Only the most flattering snapshots are shared, and it can make you feel like you’re just not good enough or making progress as fast as you should.

You Could do it For The Wrong Reasons
Seeing other people progressing faster than you, or going on a more difficult regimen than you’re on, can really get you thinking. You could start feeling jealous, or suspect that the grass is greener on the other side, and try to imitate or catch up with your peers. In reality, you should be attempting a healthy lifestyle for no one else but yourself.

Conclusion

So, is social media any good at all when you’re trying to get fit? The honest answer is that it depends on how you use it. Social media is a tool, and if you harness it right, you’ll be able to use it effectively and to your advantage.

Comments

  1. I think most people post pics of themselves at gym so that others can tell them how great they are. People want this positive reinforcement. The only issue is that your “friends” are only going to give you positive reinforcement and you’ll never get negative reinforcement on social media. So when you go people will say how great you are. But when you don’t go they won’t call you out.

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