No shame here! Now you have a science-backed reason to keep snapping selfies at the gym.
Every day, more and more people are participating in social networks to share their progress and find support. In this context, researchers call social networks, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, “virtual support communities.”
These virtual support communities allow people to share aspects of their day-to-day lives with people that they may never meet in person, and with whom they are connected specifically because of their interest in fitness, weight loss, and related elements.
Social networks aren’t just about showing off, or “faking it” as some critics might say.
The researchers explain in the article, “Research finds that individuals are more likely to achieve success with such goals when they make a public commitment to achieving them.”
The study confirmed this research in the context of social networks to share fitness and weight loss success.
How Does Sharing Progress on Social Networks Lead to Weight Loss?
According to the study, online communities, such as Facebook pages, followers of Instagram or Snapchat accounts, and other more specific social networks, allow a space to create a social identity focused on health and fitness-related behavior.
As a result of the connection to and participation in social networks, there is a deep sense of public commitment, thus making the pursuit, and achievement, of goals more effective.
Let’s take an example. You are following a fitness buff’s Instagram account (let’s call her account StrongWomanNow), and have decided to try out a program she offers. You have never met this woman before, but you are motivated by people’s encouraging comments on the before and after pictures some people in the community post.
So you introduce yourself to the community and tell them your goal is to complete the program in 3 months. Other user’s and the page administrator encourages you to post bi-weekly progress photos. While you are hesitant and first, you find that everyone’s encouraging comments after only the first two weeks makes you feel great, motivated, and committed to the community. This pushes you to work harder so that the next progress picture is even more surprising.
Next time you want to achieve a weight loss or fitness goal, there is no need to do it alone! Find an online community that will help motivate you to lead your healthiest life, and give you the encouragement you deserve when you have made progress.