Fitness 2.0: Getting Fit with Social Media

By Katie Kearsey Is your fitness routine getting stale?  Do you feel like you’ve hit a wall and your workout isn’t yielding any more results?  Are you losing motivation knowing that bathing suit season is winding down?  Let social media help you get back on track with these tips and pointers.

Get motivated.  If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to lace up your sneakers, look to Facebook and Twitter for inspiration and encouragement.  One way to do this is to state your fitness goals and ask your friends, Facebook fans and/or followers to encourage you and hold you accountable for your actions.  Another way to do this is to find, ‘like’ and follow inspirational people and fitness gurus on Facebook and Twitter.  Some Twitter accounts worth checking out and following are @JoeGigantino, @MyTrainerBob, @IdeaFit, @FitStudio, @HealthHabits, @FitnessRepublic, and @MensHealthMag or @WomensHealthMag.

Join a community.  One of the best characteristics of social media is its ability to create a community of like-minded people across great distances.  This feature is especially useful for fitness, where workout tips and routines, healthy recipes and encouraging words can easily be shared.

One website that does this particularly well is Spark People, which offers tools to make healthy living fun, easy & social.  In addition to providing great content, it’s possible to create your own personalized diet & fitness plans and to connect with others on the website.  Spark People is also on Facebook and Twitter, and frequently posts engaging and valuable content for fans and followers.

Another type of community worth looking for is one that continues both on and offline.  The gym that several of my co-workers and I belong to in Boston, GymIt, truly understands social media and its ability to create and maintain an encouraging and motivational environment 24/7.  They use Facebook to post fun videos, useful content, workout tips and motivational words.  They use Twitter to interact with and engage members who follow them or check-in to their venue on Foursquare.  Although this online community is relatively small and localized, GymIt’s friendly attitude is evident both in person and online, and the gym suddenly became a more welcoming place.

Track your progress.  So you’re back on track. That’s great!  Now be sure to track your workouts and progress with the help of websites and mobile apps so that the results can provide additional motivation.  For example, RunKeeper makes tracking workouts “fun, social, and easy to understand.”  You can post your routines on the website, Facebook and Twitter, and compete with friends and RunKeeper communities.  Some other cool apps to check out are miCoach by Adidas (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Free), Nike BOOM (iOS or Android, Free), JEFIT (Android, $4.99) and CrossFit Travel (iOS or Android, $1.99).

With the help of these great social media tips tools, you should be well on your way to getting and staying fit.  Good luck!

Does social media help motivate you to stay in shape?  If so, what are some tips and pointers you can offer others on how to make the most of social media in fitness?