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How Social Media Has Influenced The Fitness Industry

How Social Media Has Influenced The Fitness Industry

Mollie Bridson |

Social media has revolutionized various industries, and the fitness industry is no exception. From instantaneous global interaction to the accessibility of content, social media has brought about significant changes. However, it’s a double-edged sword, offering both opportunities and challenges.

The Power and Pitfalls of Social Media

Social media has opened doors for branding, self-promotion, support networks, and research. Yet, it has also paved the way for exploitation. Individuals, often dubbed as ‘Insta famous’, amass followers based on their aesthetics and claim to be fitness experts. This platform allows them to influence public opinion and desires around fitness. As fitness professionals, our aim should be to use social media as a positive influence, promoting healthy and ethical fitness practices.

The Benefits of Social Media in Fitness

Despite the challenges, social media has brought about some valuable benefits:

  1. Accessibility of Information: With the advent of social media, information about exercise and nutrition is readily available. Free workouts, nutrition advice, different types of training methods, and even research papers are just a click away. However, it’s crucial to ensure the information comes from a reputable source.
  2. New Ideas: Social media is a treasure trove of content. It’s a great resource for fitness professionals looking for exercises to include in a circuit or bootcamp.
  3. Networking: Social media allows you to connect with hundreds, even thousands of potential clients online. It’s a great tool for career development and professional growth.
  4. Motivation and Support Groups: Seeing others workout can be a great motivator. The more support people have, the more likely they are to participate in exercise.
  5. Marketing Opportunity: Social media is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness. It’s essential to develop a reputation as someone trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable.

The Dark Side of Social Media in Fitness

However, with all these positives, there are also downsides to this social media craze:

  1. Misinformation: There is no fact-checking on social media. You need to be careful where you are sourcing your information from.
  2. ‘Insta-famous’ Individuals: Many of these individuals have a huge following but no qualifications. There is no governing body regulating or questioning their advice.
  3. Unsafe Exercises: People try to re-create the wheel and come up with exercises for the sake of being different. This can lead to potentially unsafe technique and injury.
  4. Unrealistic Expectations: Fitness influencers’ physiques, which are plastered all over social media, have resulted in an unrealistic expectation of what the ‘ideal body’ now is.

Despite the challenges, shying away from the most popular platforms for connectivity and avoiding social media altogether will not fix the issues. As fitness professionals, we can be the pillars for positive change and use social media to support the interests of the people we are trying to help.

Take Home Message

  • Find reputable, qualified sources.
  • Don’t get caught up in trying to look exactly the same as someone else.
  • Brainstorm new ideas from other people.
  • Market yourself – find your niche/target audience.
  • Be unique.
  • Start networking!
  • Make a positive impact!