How is the week already almost over? I feel like I just got back from my Vegas trip yesterday and here we are, a week later. Well, a lot has happened in that time including my CPT exam getting pushed thanks to the Red Cross losing my certification, which is kind of a bummer but extra study time so I’m not complaining. This week has been awesome in terms of workouts and I’ve been shaking things up a little bit with my nutrition and seeing really awesome results already, so I’m beyond excited.
This week has been a little bit more weight focused and a lot a bit more running focused. We’re getting into the home stretch of half marathon training, and I’m giving it all I’ve got for the next month. This week has been:
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 6 miles
And today is a rest day (holla!) before I start another jam-packed week. I took more runs outside this week to get a better feel for how my body deals with wind resistance and it turns out that a lot of the speed and hill work I was doing on the treadmill during the winter is translating pretty nicely if I do say so myself.
But I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. I have been talking myself out of running outside far too often lately: it’s too cold, it’s too dark, what if there are too many people, what if I get lost, what if I need to pee etc. But I saw another girl who is training for the same half as me posting on Instagram about her training and I was instantly inspired to get outside the next day and knock out 8 miles.
And it got me to thinking. One of the greatest things I have done for my fitness is to start a social media account and blog dedicated to it. I know it sounds extremely vain to start taking pictures of yourself and writing blog entries about yourself for others to see, but I don’t do it for the “what I look like” aspect of it, I do it for the motivation I get from it. In fact, on the days when I don’t want to workout at all, all it takes to get me out of bed is a quick scroll through my Instagram feed or a scan of a recent blog post to get me fueled.
But social media isn’t just great for motivation in that aspect, social facilitation has been shown to improve a persons chances of sticking with a fitness routine. If you don’t know what social facilitation is, at the base level, it’s the tendency of people to behave differently in the presence of others than when they’re by themselves. Why do you think basketball players and football players do so much better against teams when fans are cheering? There’s psychology involved. People tend to perform better when in the presence of others.
So let’s think of this in terms of social media. By getting that support from others, even if it’s virtually, you’re setting yourself up for more success than if you’re going through your journey alone. I can’t express to you how many times I’ve thought to myself, I should probably just run one more mile because I’ll be more proud to post 6 miles than 5, which isn’t a huge difference, but it put me one step closer to my goal than I was before. Posting some accomplishment you have achieved and receiving positive feedback from it can be a huge motivator and can encourage you to continue working out.
This is especially true for people who don’t necessarily have that kind of support system in the “real world”. Changing your lifestyle and your habits isn’t the easiest thing to do when the people around you are constantly questioning why you’re having a smaller piece of cake or why you’re getting up early to go to the gym. By being able to find like-minded individuals through social media, you can create a support system that will rally around your accomplishments and decisions and you can feel confident that you are not the only one making these lifestyle changes.
This all being said, there are of course some negative aspects that go along with being active on social media and putting yourself out there, but I would say the positives far outweigh them. Overall, my advice would be if you’re starting to workout, start talking about it. Hold yourself accountable via social media and enjoy making new friends who are there to support you. Everyone could use an extra boost now and again and you never know who you’ll inspire to work just that much harder.
I’m going to leave you with a fun fact about myself that I usually avoid talking about on social media. I have extremely unphotogenic hands. They literally see a camera and instantly freakout and tense up and I will never know why. Case and point: the BBGPhilly Meetup where I didn’t even know a camera was on me, yet these dainty hands knew exactly what to do. Someday I’ll get it right.
- What’s a fun fact about you?
- Do you find social media to be a motivator?