Toned stomachs. Ripped female lifters. Body bridges. Mirror selfies. Beach yoga; These are five posts you’ll find on your Instagram feed throughout the day.
#Fitspiration is everywhere. We’ve all seen pics of our favorite Insta superstars with flawless abs, protein shakes, and perfect yoga moves. Yet among the perfectly-filtered images of abs, butts and thighs there may be a darker side to #fitspiration: we forget the importance of personal wellness goals that help us have positive body image without comparing ourselves to models.
According to a PwC Health Research Institute study, over 80 percent of Millennials reported that social media influences their health activity. It’s inevitable that the perfect images we see on social media would have more influence over our fitness than we realize.
With a million-plus of followers, perhaps these virtual mavens are worth our attention and time. Or aren’t they?
“It’s every individual who looks at Instagram and asks, what is their relationship to it?” Says Sports Counselor Joan Ingalls.
Instagrammers like Rachel Brathen and Kayla Itsines inspire their followers to discover their own healthy lifestyles without compromising their individuality. Yet not all #fitspiration Instagramers promote healthy body image.
We have the choice to ignore or acknowledge how these posts influence our mindsets. If someone’s before and after photos cause you to critique your physique or make you lose motivation, it may be time to re-evaluate.
“If you catch this voice in your head taking you down a negative path, maybe it’s time to look for someone else on social media who would inspire you in a positive way. It is really picking and choosing who you follow,” says Owner of Perform Sports Psychology Amy Tardio.
Health doesn’t look a certain way. Health doesn’t dress a certain way. It doesn’t have a gym time, a certain food or a particular body type that defines it. Health is a lifestyle. It doesn’t matter what you look like, if you are healthy, happy and strong… that’s the ONLY THING that matters. www.kaylaitsines.com/app
A photo posted by Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines) on
Do yoga to strengthen your core or sprints to improve your lower-body muscles, but don’t feel like you have to commit to an Instagram workout. Achieving your fitness goals is doing what works for you, not someone else’s false reality, especially when it comes to #fitspiration.
“Get yourself aligned with those kind of goals rather than this very narrow picture of the perfect body. It is part of who you are and how you are living your life,” said Ingalls.
#fitspiration may keep growing, but so will our healthy ambitions.