How social media can help you lose weight

Katie Leyton

Social media, without a doubt, controls everything in our generation. It is how people communicate, how distant friends keep in touch and even how people challenge and support each other to reach their goals.

Specifically, fitness goals. Social media can be used as motivation to help you lose weight. Because it is not socially acceptable to walk up to someone on campus and challenge them to an 8-mile race, social media provides the perfect outlet.

Whether you have never exercised a day in your life or are an avid gym-goer who is looking to challenge yourself, there is an endless stream of new information and advice right at the tip of your fingers.

Of the hundreds of Instagram accounts on fitness, my personal favorites include: @HOW2SQUAT,  @GYMSECRETS and @CROSSFIT, all of which post videos, exercises and recipes to help you stay on track.

Hashtags, like #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday and #ThrowbackThursday can be used to motivate, as well.

Sharing these goals and successes on social media puts a much higher rate of accountability on yourself just to be able to post that “Transformation Tuesday” picture on Instagram and get more than 100 likes and motivate others to go to the gym.

Challenges made on social media can be extremely useful in staying driven and moving along. With your goals made public, you are no longer alone pursuing your goals with all of your followers keeping tabs.

It could be as simple as a walking challenge where the participants walk 5 miles each week or a push up challenge where each day you do one more push up than the day before. Or, join the MovChallenge at the Kent State Recreation and Wellness Center, starting the first week of February.

This year, I set the goal to run 500 miles in 2015. Originally, I planned to keep it to myself, tracking my miles on my Nike + Running app and hoping I could keep myself inspired enough to eventually reach my goal.

With my competitive nature, I realized that if I made it into a challenge and shared it with my friends on social media, I would be more motivated to run the distance. I even gained 12 friends who joined me in my challenge just by posting about it on Facebook.

So, next time you’re in the gym working toward your highest personal record, don’t be afraid to snap a selfie and post it on social media. After all, if you go to the gym and don’t post about it, did you really even go?

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].