Fitness never looked better, not until the social media swept in! Living in an era that is more loyal to tabloids and screens, the electronic media play a dominant role in people's life. Not only has it given more means to bring people together but the interactions also push people towards a lifestyle that is desirable.
There is nothing wrong in wanting better for self that also makes one go for 'self-marketing' and treating self like a brand, there are some down sides to it too that one might suffer from if not going overboard is kept in check.
Exploitations through social media: Negativities are abundant starting right from people having tons of followers on platforms like Instagram and calling themselves fitness experts. They come up with all kinds of diet plans, training programs, etc. which are nothing but hazards to the body but they are marketable anyway because these fitness experts appear aesthetic with a great number of follower base. Fitness experts should be accountable for the contents they circulate on the social media. The goal should always be to help people and not always have commercial agendas.
Social media is not all bad: Thanks to access to information that has been possible largely for the social media, having ways around work out and nutrition are much more convenient now! It is possible to find exercise and diet plans online for free which actually works. They might as well be conducted by renowned fitness experts. Social media platforms also come with right forms and postures for workouts when the right fitness expert is being learned from.
Being in a circle of health enthusiasts: It is possible to connect with like-minded people as well as to find clients through the social media. One can always keep a tab on activities of other fitness experts in business. Social media platforms make it easy to follow events and stay updated on the current trends. There is room for sharing experiences and ideas with other fitness enthusiasts who might be struggling too but did not have a platform to express themselves.
More marketing opportunities: In any online business, it is important to keep having conversations, to keep creating relationships and build trusted bonds. If people are looking for marketing of themselves or their business, they must keep their clients engaged through posting of photos and videos that are informative and genuinely helpful. One effective marketing strategy can hit the bulls-eye of touching millions with the product or the service.
Dos and Don'ts: Social media keys: The social media has had a huge impact on the fitness industry from instantaneous interaction people can have all over the world with contents being accessible to anyone and everyone. The world has never been more connected and influenced by the social media. People have a lot of information readily available and it has opened incredible opportunities for branding and self-promotion, support networks, research and fit lifestyle. However, there is also the door for exploitation. People have become 'Insta famous' with hundreds of thousands of people following their photos and contents and as a result of their aesthetics, they claim to be fitness experts. These people now have a platform to exploit opinions of the masses and their desires around fitness. Fitness professionals should be aiming to use the social media as a positive influence by promoting healthy and ethical fitness practices that support interests of the people. A piece of suggestion for fitness enthusiasts would be to be cautious of information they absorb and interact with in health forums on the social media. Strength doesn't come from physical capacity. It comes from one's indomitable will and only the right means.
People try to re-create the wheel and come up with exercise for the sake of being different and to stand out from the crowd; however it can lead to potentially unsafe technique and therefore injury. One needs to evaluate if these exercises are necessarily more effective than traditional ones that the mass people use. Not only will people try to come up with exercise variations just to be different but they will also overlook the importance of proper form and technique on simple and traditional exercises. There are numerous poorly performed deadlifts on the social media with incorrect technique and rounded backs all for the sake to claim they have lifted a certain weight and then get validation from others online. Someone who doesn't have much knowledge on correct technique of exercise might watch this and think that this is acceptable. Fitness enthusiasts should be careful in promoting these personal achievements because a novice or a beginner won't know difference between good and bad training.
The keys to utilising the social media for fitness are finding reputable and qualified social media sources, avoiding trying to look exactly the same as someone else, brainstorming new ideas from right experts, sharing and learning from authentic experiences, and finally focusing on networking and positive impact. Following the social media for fitness is not a bad idea but doing it blindly is.
Ruslan MD Hossain is Vice President of Bangladesh Mix Marshal-art Association and Silver Medalist in muscle contest Philippines IFBB pro League 2019.
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