5 Ways to Use Facebook to Get Closer to Your Fitness Goals

by Anna D

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I post fitness articles and tips there on a regular basis. In fact, I have received several Facebook messages from friends who really love my tips and ask me for specific advice when they start to think about working on their fitness goals. I am glad to know that people actually read the articles I post and that it helps them keep motivated or start thinking about their own health. Then it hit me…Facebook could be a great tool for people who want to lose weight and, in this article, I talk about just how you can use it to your advantage especially if you already spend a lot of time on it.

In my experience as a fitness trainer and working with clients, social support is one of the most important determinants of whether people will reach their fitness goals or not. Facebook is considered social media for one important reason – people actually interact in it and from my own experience, online social support is actually just as good as live social support.

#1 Post Your Goals on Status Updates

The first thing that I do when I want to accomplish something is to set some goals with a deadline. You can post your goals on facebook by updating your status under the “what’s on your mind” box. You do not have to be fancy with this. All you have to do is to write down your goals on a sheet of paper or type it out on a word document then copy and paste! For instance, you can write, “drink 8 glasses of water, exercise 3 times a week, and eat more veggies in the next 4 weeks,” on your status box.

This is such an easy way to get support from people who are already connected with you. Plus, scientific studies have shown that the probability you will achieve a goal increases to 65% when you tell somebody what you want to accomplish. Instead of playing Farmville and sit in front of the computer for hours, why not use this time to stay active? Trust me, your body will thank you later.

#2 Log Your Workouts

As always, follow-up and consistency are the keys to staying focused especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Logging your workouts by doing your status updates is another way to keep accountable to those goals. You can say,

“I ran my sprints at the park today with my dog. What a lovely way to start any day.” or

“I’ve been drinking my 8 glasses a day for a whole week now. What a difference it makes to my body and soul!” or

“I just did my strength training workout at the park. It’s amazing how much I can do with body weight exercises. Time for a nice, healthy dinner now.”

You would be amazed at how much support you will get from people who read your updates. But don’t just post the positive achievements, post your hard ships too! Most people are supportive when you are trying to do something good with your life or, in this case, with your health because at some point in their lives, they have gone through something like this too. Your reward? The probability that you will achieve your goals will increase to 95% when you report to somebody that you are doing them. Additionally, you will see the results in your clothes and around your waistline.

[Photo by Life in the NHS]

#3 Invite Friends to Join You

Do you have a friend or sister or brother who lives far away? Facebook has made it easy for all of us to stay in touch with those people. The best way to get even more connected is to ask them to join you in your journey to fitness. This can be as simple as leaving a message on their personal page or sending them a Facebook e-mail and saying, “hey sis, I just set some new fitness goals for the next 4 weeks, want to join me? I know you’re all the way over there in L.A. but we can keep each other accountable here on Facebook. What do you think?”

You will most likely get a positive response by asking people you already know because we are social creatures. We can’t help but be a part of something especially if that something will help us make positive changes in our lives.

#4 Create a Facebook Fan Page

Maybe your group has gotten bigger that it has gotten difficult to track everyone’s progress. Creating a Facebook Fan Page or group will do the trick. Create one that is just accessible to the members of your support group and tell them to post their updates there. This will give everyone a place to keep up with everyone’s actions while giving unending support to each other. This will also give everyone a sense of belonging and being “special.” In the end, you all can say that you helped each other navigate the path to wellness. It would be a great story to tell your kids and grand kids too!

#5 Create an Event

After you’ve created a fan page, you can effortlessly create an event. This can be an excuse to get together with the people that you haven’t seen in awhile and do something related to your goals. You can do an outdoor workout event at the park or a bike ride or a BBQ potluck at the end of the 4 weeks to celebrate your accomplishments. Either way, make the events fun and enjoyable so you can go home and feel even more motivated to continue what you have started.

These are only 5 of many ways you can use Facebook to get closer to your fitness goals. I am sure that there are many other great ideas out there that can turn this sedentary habit into more positive and active habits that will lead us to becoming more fit and healthy.

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