The Social Truth

Currently there is big business in social fitness, including health apps. Prime example, according to research2guidance, the market for smartphone health apps in 2012 was $1.3 billion.

Screenshot 2014-08-08 20.21.33Big brands such as Equinox, Under Armor, Lululemon Athletica, Zumba and Crunch Gym have developed successful approaches to social media (catch a full review of their social ways). These big brands offer a social experience beyond sales and discounts. They offer followers quality blog information, well-produced instruction and inspirational YouTube videos, shared quotes, life inspirations, health tips, and a chance to engage with a fitness community.

 

Screenshot 2014-08-08 20.17.34While sites like these promote good health and community engagement, big brands and their followers can sometimes walk a risky line when they go social. Crossfit, whose tagline is forging elite fitness, is experiencing controversy with its high-speed, high-impact approach to fitness and exercise. As Brook Ross points out, “Searching for the words “pain” and “CrossFit” on Twitter yields hundreds of results, nearly every one praising the sting the workout provides”. Unfortunately, the word-of-mouth praise is not may be doing harm to the novices who don’t understand the dangers of pushing your workouts to the limit and knowing when to quit. Most know that pushing your workouts too far could lead injury, but many don’t understand it could lead to riskier problems that could cause kidney issues.

 

Screenshot 2014-08-08 20.18.20Fitness brands and followers also need to be aware of what they are inspiring others or being inspired to do. Fitness instagrams, known as fitstagrams, are a great way to inspire those looking for a fitness pick-me-up. Brands like Under Armor, REI, Nike, CrossFit and New Balance post and encourage followers to post images of people in action and tackling fitness feats. While these images can be engaging and motivational, they also risk encouraging people to set unhealthy body image goals. Followers see other “regular” people reaching their fitness goals, but may forget what is attainable by one is not attainable by all. Example: While Halle Berry’s (image from @emilymaksoud) reveal worthy shape would be awesome to have, realistically, Queen Latifah’s (image from @queenlatifah) gorgeous new figure is more attainable for me.

 

Hallefinal  Screenshot 2014-08-08 19.53.40

Bottom line: Know your body and your limits. Fitness and a healthier lifestyle can be great for you, but pushing beyond your limits and having unrealistic goals can be dangerous.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Social Truth

  1. Great post,
    The ability to use social application to engage in health fitness is a great idea. It would seem the social media can convert anything from the traditional sense to an application. Going to the gym for a workout; turn on the application for the same results. For example, I had a friend in Special Forces showed me a workout I could do and maintain while deployed in a remote area. Works great, and all you would need is yourself and one object. What’s next for the innovation of social media? As a runner, a running application should be simple enough for a person to run in place. Keep America healthy with only thirty minutes a day three days a week.
    Enjoyed your post

  2. Very good points- the amount of health apps available has grown exponentially in the past few years! With your smartphone you can now track your steps, how far and fast you run and bike, track your calories or carbs and you can also use a diet app such as weight watchers. There’s an app for just about any exercise regimen and any diet out there. I must admit it’s helpful to just check my app for what workouts to do that day and my calorie tracker to see how many calories are in what I’m eating and where I’m at for the day. This is a huge industry that will likely continue to expand and/or get better!

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