Are you using Instagram? If you aren’t among the 100 million users finding value in this fun photo sharing app, you might want to check it out. Instagram allows you to take pictures from your tablet or smartphone, categorize them by subject, apply fun digital filters, and ultimately share them across various social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Aside from being a great tool to help keep you in the loop with what your friends and family are up to, Instagram represents a great opportunity for anyone interested in health and fitness to become a part of a larger fitness community actively sharing their digital awesomeness every day.
You can easily find health and fitness photos among the 4 billion pictures that have been posted to Instagram since it’s inception in 2010. But don’t worry, you don’t have to sort through all 4 billion one by one.
Instagram supports hashtags (the # symbol), which can be placed before a word in the picture caption to categorize the content of the picture. For example, if you did a search for “#weightloss” on instagram, your search would return nearly 600,000 photos from people who have hashtagged their photos in that category.
Find Your Peeps
There are probably people around you every day who are interested in the same things you are, you just may not know it! If you did a search for #calfit you’d turn up over 2,000 pictures of fellow California Family Fitness members who are sharing their love of health and fitness all over Instagram.
You can connect with these people, and foster a virtual community supporting your shared passions and supplement the interactions you may already be experiencing at the gym.
Find People With Similar Interests
Once you find the categories that relate to the information you want, whether it be #weightloss or #biggains, you can keep track of the people posting the photos you love most by following their Instagram profile.
Every time they post a pic, it’ll show up in your feed, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself rooting for these people, and following their journey as if you know them in person.
Why keep your success to yourself? If you’ve worked hard to chisel a rock hard six-pack, or lost a ton of weight after having a baby, you should be really proud of yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with sharing that success with others. You never know who may be struggling with similar demons, and you sharing your pictures and journey may be just the extra motivation they need to keep on pushing to reach their own goals.
It works both ways. If you’re a little shy, or just starting your own journey, you don’t have to put yourself out there. You can just sit back and be inspired by others. Search the hashtags, find the photos that motivate you, and follow the people who are currently doing the things you want to do. Let yourself be awed by the experiences of others, and use that as fuel for your own fire.
Instagram helps people find their friends and keep track of their lives in these busy times. But it also helps us find new friends, and nurtures our commitment to live a healthy life by showing us that we aren’t alone. So snap some pics, find your peeps, and share your passion for fitness with the world!