Using social media as a fitness accountability tool

Social media often gets a bad rap.

fitness accountability tool

I am certainly guilty of this some days…

Parents complain about their teenagers spending too much time on Snapchat. Mom gets angry with dad for constantly checking the hockey scores. Dad wishes mom didn’t feel the need to check in with her Facebook friends before she’s even finished her coffee. Friends tease friends about their habit of uploading food photos to Instagram. Non-users complain about the rest of the world being tethered to their phones.

Technology certainly is not without its drawbacks.

As with everything, however, it’s how you use the tool that matters.

fitness accountability tool

Maybe not the best way to use a megaphone…

My favourite way to use social media is as a fitness accountability tool.

Checking in with friends and clients via Facebook, Instagram, Evernote, Twitter and good old-fashioned e-mail (at least my kids tell me it’s old-fashioned; they never manage to respond to anything I send them…) keeps me accountable to my goals and them to theirs.

Social media sharing is particularly beneficial to those who don’t have a local, in-person group of friends to support their fitness, nutrition and health goals.

Find the right circle of online friends — your own personal support group — and sticking to an exercise schedule or diet becomes easier. Hence the popularity of online weight-loss groups (e.g., DietBet) and exercise programs (my 40+ Fitness Group Training program, for example 😉 ).

Furthermore, research demonstrates that just having a weight-loss or fitness support system in place results in better adherence to diet and exercise and more pounds shed and kept off over the long term.

The following are some of my favourite ways to keep my clients and myself accountable to our fitness and nutrition goals.

Ways to use social media as a fitness accountability tool

  • Facebook: I use both my Facebook business page and my 40+ fitness group page (shh, that’s a secret one) to share workout schedules and planned trips to the gym. Friends and clients often tell me that just seeing my post kept them from bailing on their evening workout. I tell them that it goes both ways 🙂 (sometimes trainers need motivation too…)
  • Instagram: I love to post a quick picture or video of an exercise that I’ve just incorporated in my workout. Hearing other’s comments about the exercise, suggestions as to ways to make it more challenging and even the occasional ‘dang girl, you be strong’ makes me feel good about my accomplishment (and may even motivate a client to challenge themselves a bit more too). Some fitness peeps ‘Instagram’ their meals too, in part to remain accountable to their followers, but also to help motivate themselves and others to make healthy choices on a daily basis. Follow me on Instagram (I almost always follow back) >> fitknitchick_1
fitness accountability tool

Make this move even more challenging by lifting one foot off the bench!

  • Twitter: This “micro-blogging” sits is informal and fast-paced, with nearly instantaneous feedback. Use Twitter to find friends with similar health and fitness goals. Follow links to motivational photos, low-calorie recipes and workouts you can do at home. Tweet when you feel the urge to eat and you’re guaranteed to get a helpful response in a minute or two. And Twitter chats are a fabulous way to connect with an already established healthy living tribe. You can find me on Twitter at fitknitchick_1
  • MyFitnessPal: Although most people think of MyFitnessPal as a personal nutrition diary, it’s also possible to ‘friend’ your friends and encourage their daily food journalling habit. Even better, if you’re willing to make your diary ‘public’, those friends will also have access to the details of your daily eats. My clients tell me how surprised they are to discover that simply knowing I’ll be looking encourages them to make healthier choices in the kitchen.

The key to using social media as a fitness accountability tool?

It’s right there in the name: SOCIAL media! Interact, participate and engage your way to a healthier, fitter you!

Do you have a favourite social media app that helps you with fitness motivation and accountability?

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Comments

  1. All of this! This was one of the biggest keys to my success in losing over 60 pounds, 10 years ago. Having an online tribe to support and reinforce kept me in that headspace of focused, healthy habits. It’s something I’ve missed and I recently started a Facebook group for a few friends who are wanting to focus their efforts a little more effectively. It’s making a big difference for me. 🙂

  2. Hi Tamara,

    I’m really enjoying Instagram. The community of people I am connected with for diet and fitness are very inspiring and help me stay accountable.

  3. My favorite is Instagram, though I find Facebook to be more interactive.

  4. Social media has been key to maintaining my weight loss and now maintaining my motivation for staying fit. I am inspired by posts from real people who are fitting in fitness.
    Coco recently posted…Physiclo Resistance Pants ReviewMy Profile

  5. Writing from your side of the fence, as a trainer, I always appreciate getting messages and emails from people (non-clients) who follow my Business page on Facebook. Often times they tell they are inspired to get back to better eating or improved fitness habits. Very often it’s about the fact that I’m not in your face, and more reasonable than many popular fitness trends and trainers.

    I LOVE sharing my experience with newbies and more advanced fitness enthusiasts because it keeps ME more accountable and always reaching as a trainer!

    And it’s good to see you writing and working and being…

    🙂

  6. I have found the online running community (particularly in twitterland) really amazing support. People are so generous sharing training/nutrition/kit tips, and we celebrate each others successes whether it’s a super-quick marathon or a first ever parkrun. There is a downside though- I find it too easy to compare myself to others and feel inadequate so it takes a bit of self-discipline to use social media for your benefit!
    If it wasn’t for twitter I’d never have come across Tamara- and the workouts I’ve found through this website have been a fabulous complement to my running 🙂

  7. I LOVE our online fitness tribe…you know the secret one 🙂 It really does keep me accountable. When I thinking of stopping mid workout, I think I can’t tell the Facebook group that I wussed out. lol

  8. I first want to address the email that came with this post. I am always late these days. I know you need to take care of you & glad you are doing that. HUGE HUGE HUGS!!!!!!

    I love the instagram for me – it is easiest. I can’t keep up with the long discussions on FB. I want to but I just can’t & then you end up feeling left out sort of so I just pop in & out but I do post on mine, just not like others. My IG is my main posting.

    Thinking of you Tamara! xoxoxo

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