Fitness and Social Media—Right Out in Front of You

Posted by Beth Hartman

Our world today is pretty transparent. With everyone having their own Face Book page, Twitter account, seeing friend’s posts or “Liking” groups of friends who belong to their own unique groups. We are constantly seeing or being seen by either people we know and interact with on a regular basis, or those that we don’t know but are friends of our friends.  Regardless, we are on display.  Well above half of the people in the United States have at least one social media profile and for young adults (ages 18-29) 86%. We can connect with old friends from past lives, stay in touch with those in our current lives, and even make new friends with the touch of a button. 

 We live in a world of instants - instant messaging, text messaging, Skyping. The technology is dumbfounding and wonderful, at the same time.  Living in a world of instants has affected our health, emotionally and physically. The instant gratification we collectively seek has never been more pronounced than it is at this very moment in time. People want results and they want them now.

 Technology allows us to take immediate steps to improve our fitness and health, yet at the same time technology can hinder our wellness if we aren’t tuned in. Technology as a whole is neither good nor bad - it’s both. We have access to data that can be utilized in many ways with the various apps that are now available.

 Social media allows us to share ideas and access data, then pass that data along by using a third party app, usually smart phone enabled. Apps also enhance our ability to track our lives in fitness and wellness. Health apps are everywhere and growing at a rapid clip. The industry expects the number of health and fitness apps to quadruple between 2010 to 2016. Right now More than 40,000 health apps exist.

 The nature of instant results and a ‘get it now’ mentality is counter to the nature of health and wellness, both mentally and physically.  Success and lasting results as it relates to our mental and physical health come about only in learning to accept the facts that we need to gain control of our physical health and work on improving the way we meet our goals.  We have many tools around us from various smart phone apps to pedometers and heart rate monitors that will guide us through our workout routines to make sure we are on our path to fitness.  Heart Rate Monitors and Activity Monitors, can link our results in real time to groups of our friends so again, they can see instantly how we are performing.  Using this technology in a friendly competitive environment is a good thing. It can keep us motivated to try our best and stay ahead of our friends and online groups.  So for the good or bad of it, even your fitness progress is available (if you want it to be!) right out there in the social fitness groups. So use everything that is available to you if it helps you meet and maintain your physical goals! 

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