I say it often because it’s so true: You are the combination of the five people you hang around most. Yes, you are uniquely you and you should own who you are, but your inner circle affects you and your choices. Who we let into our lives—whether on social media or in person—can provide us with tons of motivation to be healthy or they can be obstacles in our path.
Does your best friend say, “C’mon, you only live once, skip the gym after work and go to happy hour with me.” Or does your best friend say, “Let’s sign up and run our first 5K together.” Does your spouse love healthy living or camping on the couch for hours at a time with junk food? Do you hang out with people who lift you up or tear you down? Bottom Line: Who you spend your time around matters.
You are getting influenced online and off. Of course, if grandma encourages you to have second helpings of her yummy comfort food cooking, I am not telling you to cut her out of your life (ha, ha) but you can proactively surround yourself with motivation to live your healthiest life. And while offline can be more complicated (what if you are a big workout gal but the hubby not so much), finding support online is easy breezy.
Use healthy websites to do your meal planning.
On GetHealthyU, we put healthy recipes every day. We have recipes for every meal. We have snack ideas, healthier desserts, smoothie recipes and fun appetizers that will make you the healthy hit at your next party or cookout. When you do your weekly healthy meal plan (you are doing that, right?) go online to try some new recipe ideas. You will no longer have to wonder what you should eat for a healthier lifestyle.
I have a rule I follow. Every day on social media I share at least one inspirational post of some type. And almost every day I hear, “Thank you, I needed that, especially today.” We all can use a bit of encouragement now and then, so follow people on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram who put a smile on your face and make you feel good about you. Follow people whose posts and pictures motivate you and fuel your inspiration.
Ask your questions.
You can pose your questions on your own Facebook community or tweet your question to a fitness trainer. Social media is a great forum for questions and answers. Or you can join a Facebook group for like-minded people. You can use Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and search with your question topic or use a hashtag to listen in and find out what people are saying about gluten-free, plantar fasciitis or mud runs. Crowd-sourcing your question can give you solutions and a new perspective.
Post your goals.
Nothing like a little accountability to keep you focused on your goals. If you are doing a couch to 5k plan or you are trying hard to give up soda, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable when you tell people. Put your promise in print on your Facebook newsfeed or on your Instagram. Plus, you will get love (sometimes a little tough love) and support from your friends.
Upload a selfie.
Selfies are not selfish and they are not just for teenagers if done tastefully! If you and your bestie are out for a power walk on a Saturday morning, post a selfie on Instagram. Not only are you giving yourself a little pat on the back for early activity, but the picture can be motivating to others too! If you are rocking your strength training workouts and your bodyweight moves, show off your sculpted arms with a post on Facebook and get a little love for all that hard work.
Download an app.
There are so many apps, but you can download a free-PDF of my 11 favorites. There are apps to track your workouts and steps. There are apps to help you make more nutritious decisions at the store or to teach you yoga. Apps can even help you meditate. Tap into all the support you want with just one touch on your phone.
Share your story.
You can start a blog or just start posting and sharing about your fitness challenges and your triumphs on social media. We all have them and you might be surprised at how quickly you connect with other people who have similar stories. It feels great to be supported and encouraged by family and friends, but it feels even better when you inspire someone else to get healthier. When you realize that your healthy lifestyle is inspiring others to do the same, you will want to stick with it even more. P.S. Check out some of our stories on GetHealthyU!
See? Your time spent online doesn’t have to take away all of your quality time. Use your digital device to live your most fit and healthiest life.