Social media and how it has redefined working out

Monday June 07 2021

Social media posts and videos tend to go viral and, in the process, boost confidence. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

By Joan Salmon

There is more you can use your social media platforms for beyond sharing  the next beer plot , such as keeping up with your fitness resolutions.

According to Bonita Alinda, a social media user, social media and fitness are compatible and should be taken advantage of. 

A broader support network

When starting something new, Alinda says, we have the zeal.

 “However, with time, the zeal reduces and we find ourselves slacking. The same goes for working out as at times, we will make excuses as to why we have skipped our regime. That is why joining an online community is important so that you are encouraged through the ‘down and out’ times, given hope when you do not see any results and reminded that you need to stick with what you started,” she says, adding that these people become family and will check on you to see how you are doing which is very important in these days when we are more indoors than in the gym.

Noel Rugasira, a fitness enthusiast, says a picture of someone’s current status alongside when they started will prompt you to work harder just in case you were giving up. 



“Besides that, these people will hold you accountable and push you to keep keeping on,” Rugasira says. 

Watching a group of people that had started a juice fast share their experiences prompted Ivan Kimuli, a fitness trainer to rally a group of people to start an exercise group. 

“We started a Whatsapp group so that we could run the race to achieve our goals,” he says.

The practice was to share when each was starting their workout, their challenges as well as their triumphs. 

Kimuli says the first week was challenging as people were not in sync; always making excuses and in the end, half of those that had signed up fell off the wagon. 

“That brought in the importance of having rules to govern how to get the ball rolling. With that in place, many are hitting their goals and fitness is now paramount. We also help one another which fosters the family feel and togetherness,” Kimuli says

While not everyone will be in a group, a post about what one is doing will cause others to re-evaluate themselves. Rugasira says this pushes you to be diligent as people might follow up on you to ask how the workout was and you need not lie to them. 

“It can also motivate someone who might be struggling with walking the line,” he adds. 

 Access to information

There are several fitness instructors and health practitioners on social media who share various exercising and nutrition tips on how to keep healthy.

Sylvia Chelagat, a nutritionist says these tips provide support and guidance on this journey. 

“Following such people will give you motivation, help you correct what you are doing wrong, enable you get the most out of your workout as well as achieve your goals.”

Even if you have been in the exercising corridors for long enough, Alinda says there is always something new to learn so one should not stop browsing through what other people in the same arena are doing. 

Positive reinforcement

It is common knowledge that when people are happy,  they post a picture or two on their timeline or status. Those that garner a good comment from the online family, even strangers, get an emotional boost. 

However, in the case of keeping up with your fitness goals, Musa Kyagulanyi, a fitness trainer says even when you are failing on your promise, sharing about it will get people sharing ways on how to overcome your failures. 

“While the former will boost your confidence and give you a reason to keep doing those press-ups, the latter will get you out of the dredges of self pity and feelings of inadequacy. Both go a long way in keeping your eyes on the prize,” says Kyagulanyi.

It is worth trying out

Understandably, several people are not given to sharing about their personal life.  However, there is no telling who you will inspire or what help awaits you to turn your struggle into a triumph. 

Kyagulanyi urges people to share within the limits so that their private life is not under the spotlight. 

“We can always use social media as a learning and teaching tool that could also work as a virtual diary detailing how far you have come. However, we need not put our private life out there too. That way, there will be few or no regrets about your social media journey,”  he cautions. 

Involve family

Aside from social media, incorporate your family because they are also part of your social life. Bonita Alinda suggests getting one day on the weekend to have your family members do exercises. 

“It is easier to incorporate  them when you make it fun rather than an obligation. That way, people of all ages will want to participate. It could be the childhood game such as skipping, round game, dodge ball or tap. Alternatively, taking a walk could suffice seeing that not  everyone can jump or run.” She adds that with time, some will get caught up in the exercising bubble and making this a habit will help to keep them healthy.