Social media can often be the double-edged sword in our fitness plans. Scrolling past #fitnessgoals, #flexfriday and #fitfam posts can leave you reaching for a cake instead of a dumbbell. A recent survey by Privilege Home Insurance found that one in five people say that social media is making them feel depressed. It’s no wonder that seeing other people posting their transformation pictures can make you feel like giving up sometimes.
This doesn’t mean we should turn off our phones completely. When used correctly, Twitter can be used for motivation and you can find great meal prep ideas on Instagram. All internet and social media platforms are fantastic (and free) tools to help our gains. Follow this advice on how to positively use your most used apps and you’ll see progress soon enough.
Random trolls might tell you to stop uploading selfies at the gym, but we think you should keep on doing it. By sharing your goals online, not only are you putting yourself out there, which is an awesome achievement, but you are also less likely to skip a gym sesh.
A study from Dominican University of California found 70% of study participants who reported their fitness progress to a friend each week were successful in reaching their goal. This is compared to a 35% success rate of the other participants who didn’t.
You don’t necessarily have to upload a picture or tweet every single time you hit the gym (in fact, don’t), but by posting regular updates, the desire to impress your followers will be your motivation to push that last set out. Of course, if you don’t reach a goal, be honest about it. Seeing other people’s failures can also be just as motivating.
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Once you’ve started using your social media platforms to hold yourself accountable for your goals, the positive reinforcement will come in spades. It’s not enough to just push your goals out on the interweb. The likes and comments on your progress pictures will make you feel good about yourself because of the dopamine production in your brain that happens every time we see a notification on our phone. This happy chemical will help urge you to keep on going.
Be wary though, social media can be highly addictive and numbers on a screen aren’t everything. Avoid looking at your phone every few minutes and leave checking it to once or twice a day.
Use the internet as your free PT. Search key hashtags such as #fitspiration, #fitfam or #healthyeating for heaps of advice and inspiration. 80 million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily, so you won’t struggle to find a new meal idea or innovative workout routine, it’s just about being active in finding it.
Although spending more time on your phone might not sound like the answer to your fitness procrastination, hear us out. Once you start filling your feeds with fitness tips and meal prep ideas, your lunchtime scroll will no longer be about the newest cute thing your friend’s baby did. Instead, seeing everyone else achieve their goals will be the motivation you need to say yes to that after work gym session.
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