This morning while browsing through Facebook (my typical morning ritual) it dawned on me what the topic for my next blog would be, the health benefits of social media. You’re probably thinking, how can social media benefit your health? I mean, just sitting on the computer and surfing the web isn’t going to make you instantly skinny, or automatically create a healthy heart , it’s really how you take the information from the internet and apply it to your daily life.
If you don’t use Instagram, then you aren’t a committed social media user. In my opinion, it’s a tough tie between Twitter and Instagram as to which one is more popular. So you’re probably still wondering how social media can really impact your health, so let me tell you. I myself (like many other ordinary people) was not very educated on the topic of fitness and health, but it’s something that everyone should be educated on because at the end of the day you’re not going to live a long life unless you’ve lived a healthy one. So being someone who doesn’t love their personal appearance, or feel as energetic and healthy as they could (like most first year university students, or middle-aged adults, or really just anyone that isn’t a fitness junkie) I decided that rather than digging myself into an even deeper hole of an unhealthy lifestyle, I would do something to change it. So I opened my Instagram account and searched ‘Fitness’, it really is incredible that with just one word as simple as ‘fitness’ thousands of pages on the topic would pop up on my Instagram. Now just because I had found the page didn’t mean that I would instantly transform into a health nut, finding the site was just the easy part. The hard part was flipping through page after page of information and retaining all the recipes, workouts and lifestyle changes there was in order to create a happy and healthy life. And none of this would have been so easily accessible if it weren’t for the social media site, Instagram. Instagram pages allow for fitness junkies and health nuts to share their life passions on workouts and healthy recipes. It’s your responsibility to take the information that these educated people have posted and make something of it in your own life.
Now Twitter is another story, like Instagram the users share photos on healthy recipes and workouts, but the thing that I find with Twitter, is that it has more postings on motivation. The motivational posts give out that extra push that some people need to get off the couch and get to the gym, or put down the chips and chocolate and substitute it with a veggie and protein filled meal. It’s as simple as ‘You Can Do It’ that some people need to be reminded of to continue on with achieving their goals. Along with the healthy recipes and fitness junky workouts, there is a constant reminder that living a healthy lifestyle, means living a happy one too. Believe it or not, eating healthy and fitness really does changed your attitude on life. Through regular exercise endorphins are released which lead to that “feel good” mood, as well as increased levels of dopamine that improves mood and decreases the risk of depression, and most importantly through regular exercise and good health leads to an increase in self-esteem and self image, creating an overall happier and healthier person. These are all benefits to clean eating and exercise that are assisted through the motivational reminders that are constantly posted on thousands of Twitter pages.
Smart Phone Apps
Not only is Twitter and Instagram filled with information on living a healthy lifestyle, but there are also over hundreds of smart phone apps that are filled with it too. The apps go above and beyond what the social media does, they allow you to follow along with a workout, log your daily intake of food (counting calories and adding nutritional facts) and even compete against other fitness junkies that use the app. These are the extra pieces that many people need in their life to complete their goal of living a happy and healthy lifestyle.
So where would we be without technology in the fitness world?
It’s hard to say where the fitness world would be without the easy accessibility of the internet, but I do know that if there wasn’t all the resources available today than much of the population wouldn’t be as educated as they are. Technology has taken fitness and health to the next level through social media and smart phone apps, allowing the world to be involved and educated on the fad that is ‘fitness’. Not only does social media allow for people to educate themselves in their life, it also allows for fitness based companies such as Sportchek, Popeyes Supplements and others to advertise their product through these sites.
So North America might be slightly overweight and eating incredibly unhealthy, but it isn’t for the lack of information on the internet. The technology we have today has allowed the nation to choose for themselves whether they want to take advantage of the thousands of pages of information on health and fitness, or ignore it. I know that for me social media has allowed for me to become a happier and healthier version of myself, and I thank the technology of the world for that. But at the end of the day, it’s what you do with the information that matters.