Working out and living a fit life can be challenging and isolating. When you change your diet and habits and ultimately your lifestyle, it’s good to have support and help from a community. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find people that have similar interests. In fact, with busy schedules, this can sometimes be almost impossible unless you happen to be extroverted enough to talk to strangers in the gym. I don’t fall in this category; I’m the girl with her earbuds constantly in while attempting to avoid unnecessary social interactions.
For a newbie into the fitness world, we are lucky enough in this day and age to have a constant fitness partner at our disposal: social media. To be specific, platforms such as Instagram, Reddit, Youtube, or more specific forums on websites such as Bodybuilding.com. I have personally found that these types of media are extremely helpful for people in all levels in the fitness game. They allow you to connect, interact, learn, and share with people from around the world.
If you’re new or have questions about your routine, you can ask or search specific questions on subreddits such as /r/fitness or /r/xxfitness (a subreddit specifically for women – how cool is that!). For example, I have done this when I was learning more complex exercises such as the deadlift or squat. I have always been extremely weary of injuring myself, and getting advise and suggestions from many people helped me find the correct forms. A common practice I’ve noticed on these fitness subreddits is people videotaping themselves doing an exercise and asking for input on their form. This is especially helpful if you don’t have access to a personal trainer or anyone knowledgable enough to both know correct forms and identity incorrect forms. People would also suggest specific Youtube videos or articles that were helpful. And, by linking to Youtube, I was able to find an entire new community on another social media platform. The linking and intersections between the platforms is interesting because you are exposed to two different types of social media interaction.
On Instagram, the use of hashtags helps people find communities. In the fitness world, hashtags such as #fitspo (which is an abbreviation of “fitsporation”), #fitstagram, and #girlswholift allow people to find others who also enjoy working out. People can leave positive comments or advise on a picture or short video which can fuel one’s fitness spirit and make them feel better about themselves.
Meanwhile, forums on websites such as Bodybuilding.com are also great when searching for supplement recommendations (such protein or pre-workout), or for asking or searching on a topic on question. However, from my experience, I’ve noticed that the forums themselves tend to be a more male-dominated community. So to avoid an overdose on testosterone-fueled discussion, I use this website’s forum less than reddit, but still find the other features on the website extremely helpful.
While the intersection of fitness and social media can truly be a positive thing, there are also many negative aspects that should be discussed. Next week’s topic will focus on these aspects and the negative effects that come with them.
*Note about the picture used as the header:
I created this image using Canva. I found the image through a Creative Commons search. I chose this image because of its bright colors. To me, the colors seemed to aid to the strength of the picture – a woman holding a weight on her back. I also liked how the image doesn’t show her face and is not sexualized; instead, the image focuses on her strength and muscles which is essential to fitness and my topic. I chose to write my letters in all caps with a bold, simple white-colored font to add to the strength of the picture. If I had used a more frilly font, I feel as though the message of power and persistence would be somewhat hindered. I also chose to make the phrase “YOUR FITNESS PARTNER” bigger than “SOCIAL MEDIA” because I felt as though it was more eye-grabbing to the reader.