As I mentioned before, there are TONS of sites and apps that can help anyone with just about any interest to reach their fitness goals. There are sites that record what you do, what you eat, how your feel, where your exercised, how long you exercised, who you exercised with and even some sites record why you succeeded or failed in meeting your goals. It seems the best, or at least the most popular, sites incorporate some type of social aspect into their sites. The social aspects serve as support for the users. Fitness and health sites also can’t deny that the social aspects of their sites are also beneficial to the sites themselves. The more you use it and share the results with your friends, the more you promote the sites.
While many people (including me) tend to want to be private about their fitness goals, they can’t deny that the social aspect (which is really a silent, grown-up form of peer pressure) is a great motivator. There is less of chance for you walking away from your goals when have 10 of friends watching you. Sites like SparkPeople and FitBit allow you share goals and results with friends and chosen strangers. SparkPeople also has forums that allow users to discuss issues.
Some sites, like MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal, make it even easier to publicize your success (or lack there of). With a click of a button, user information can be shared via Faebook, Twitter and email.
Several sites don’t require you to be a member to reap the benefits of the features they offer. Sites like SparkPeople, IDEA, and FitDay are loaded with fitness articles, videos, recipes, and nutrition guidelines. These features are accessible by going directly to the site. Many of them (especially Spark articles) will show up in topic Google searches as well.
Lastly –and I have to admit, I don’t get it– some sites, like Nike and New Balance, utilize Instagram. Users can post pictures of themselves mid workout. The images supposedly inspire others. While I think might be a great way for Nike and New Balance to improve their brands’ social aspect, I am not sure what the users are getting out of it.
Here’s the bottom line. There are tons of sites out there. Their sites’ goals to improve their standings in the social media environment will make them show up in your forums, blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter news feeds, and Google searches. The key not to latch onto the sites that show up the most, but onto what site works best for you to help you reach your goals.