While genius may only need 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration, when it comes to tackling our new year’s resolution to live healthier, we need all the inspiration we can get. Luckily for us, there are countless apps for trying out daily workouts, listening to great mixes and finding healthy recipes. Plus, the benefits of social media allow access to a huge database of knowledgeable and motivational people. However, like anything, there can always be too much of a good thing. Let’s examine the pros and cons of using social media to reach your fitness goals.


Up the Ante:

We’re all susceptible of falling victim to the excuses we come up with for not going to the gym (too tired, too hungry, it’s raining, etc.). It’s time to let social media give you a shot in the arm! With Fitocracy, working out becomes a role-playing game. For each workout or quest you complete, you earn points to then level up. If that’s not enough of an incentive for you, GymPact allows you to bet money towards completing a workout streak. If someone in the pact fails to complete the streak, the money is divvied out. Get fit and get rich!

Community Boards:

With the vast collection of fitness knowledge available online, you no longer need to feel clueless at your next workout. Bodybuilding.com and MuscleandStrength.com have huge libraries of workouts for all levels of difficulty. Check out Pinterest and Instagram for a more laidback way to find workouts tailored to all walks of life. There are also great fitness apps, a personal favorite being Workout Trainer. Workout Trainer tailors its free workouts to your goals and sends different exercises to your phone everyday. YouTube can also act as a powerful tool for researching home workouts and discovering how to use machines before trying them at the gym. Community boards are also a wonderful way to seek out the answers you’re looking for and find others with the same goals as you. A word of caution though, sometimes the online passion and fire can be a little intimidating. Consult with certified fitness experts to avoid injury. Watch out for overly critical posts, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing this for you!


Imagery & Music:

If dedicated workout apps aren’t your thing, you already have the greatest motivating factor you could use, your friends. Peer accountability can be a huge influence in reaching your goals. Plus, if more people are posting pictures of their successes and journey online, it’s more likely you’ll want to shatter your goals too. Give the world a peek at your journey and those hard-earned abs. Maybe you’ll inspire someone along the way. On the flip-side, avoid hedonic and narcissistic users. Overly excessive post-workout pics can negatively affect a person’s self-worth and propagate the ideals of perfection. Try and stay focused on your own goals. Some favorite accounts for cultivating positivity are Timed Exercise, Nike Training Club and CrossFit. Music can also make the world of a difference for improving a workout and your mood. RockMyRun delivers mixes at different BPMs so your strides have their own perfectly synced soundtrack.

The Takeaway:

Social media is a fantastic way to get over gym anxiety, learn more and connect with friends to cheer you on. Seek out accounts that really speak to you — and maybe steer clear from the self-absorbed and aggressive posts. Look for the users that actually tell a story, teach you something and are less about the muscular selfies. Remember, they are not you, and you don’t have to be them. We’re all looking for validation, so find what works for you! You can do this! #fitspiration