Can Social Media Motivate You to Exercise?

It's time to get moving!
It's time to get moving!
Anderson Ross/Iconica/Getty Images

When you think about it, exercise is inherently green. Why? Stay fit and you'll keep your body healthier, heartier, and less prone to illness and injury--which will keep you off of pills and out of doctors offices and surgery. Another environmental plus to getting in shape? When you are thinner, you eat less, and what you do eat is likely healthier. Less food means less energy to grow and create your food. Healthier food generally means more fruits, veggies and grains--which take a whole lot less energy to produce than animal products. In other words, being unhealthy means using more resources, while being in-shape means using relatively fewer: exercise is a key component to staying healthy.

Now the question is: how are we going to motivate you to move your body in order to get fit, stay healthy, and stop chowing down on an unhealthy amount of resources?

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Let's face it, that energy-sapping treadmill (yes, even if it's never used... but still plugged into the wall!) in the corner is not motivating you to workout. Nor is that ridiculously expensive gym card (the one that supports the insane electric bill and non-green equipment at the gym) that dangles from your key chain. And now that getting "a bikini-ready body" is no longer a goal, what is going to motivate you enough to get your butt in gear and shed some fat? Technology. Social media.

You're on your computer all day long... including right now. May as well put it to work (beyond your workload) and help you burn off another load (that which resides on your backside). Here are 5 social media technologies that can help motivate you to move. Opt for low-impact exercises like yoga and good old fashioned running for the ultimate green workout.

1. Facebook

Facebook is more than an online destination to socialize. It has become a space where millions exchange ideas, offer tips, and give insight into their lives in a safe, non-invasive way. When it comes to motivating you to work out, Facebook is a great way to never feel alone, no matter what fitness or diet hardship is sapping your exercise enthusiasm. And for you yogis out there, as you know, yoga is just about the greenest exercise out there (especially if you use an eco mat, or none at all), and Facebook is full of yoga motivating pages like this one: Yoga Journal Pose of the Day, delivering three yoga poses to your inbox daily based on your experience level and interests.

2. Twitter

Motivational tips and mantras are easily expressed and accessed on Twitter. Similar to Facebook, but in smaller doses, the little blips of information can provide you with the perfect ounce size insight or push to help you continue to plow ahead with your fitness lifestyle. It's a place where anonymous people share their own triumphs and struggles, reassuring you that you're not alone, whatever you're going through, someone else has too. It's also a great tool for you to update your short terms goals and report on your ups and downs, knowing that someone out there is listening and supporting your success. When it comes to yoga, pretty much every studio has updates but men love the tips from Men With Yoga Mats, and we love the tweets about the streaming yoga classes from Yoga Glo in Santa Monica where you can choose to go in and move in person, or move along from anywhere through the streaming classes online. Talk about techno yoga!

3. YouTube

Yes, YouTube is a great place for passive entertainment. But it's also a place where everyday people post video blogs about their own personal fitness struggles, in addition to self-made exercise videos showcasing what worked for them. The videos are raw, but they are also real. They expose a very human side, one where barriers are broken down and honesty is paramount because for some reason people seem to feel that they can express their true selves on camera, and you get to benefit from it.

4. iPhone or iPod Touch

Need a quick hit of motivation? Download a motivational fitness app directly into your iPhone. Excuses are no longer an option when all you have to do is look down at your phone and suddenly you are infused with the perfect mantra made specifically to motivate you to work out. You can also write your own reminders, list your goals, and create an emergency letter-to-self to read whenever you're on the brink of skipping your workout.

5. Your Shape on Nintendo Wii

The fitness world is about to be totally wowed by Wii's new personalized, hands free, motion-detecting camera-powered exercise video game that will knock the sneakers off every other exercise video game out there. Seriously. It's called Your Shape... but it's not out until December. But what is out and up and running is the Your Shape Game website that rounds out the game, delivering a complete fitness lifestyle including food, motivation, and life insight posts. We love that YourShape is more than a greener way to workout (since you aren't powering up a treadmill, or hitting the gym, and instead you have the opportunity to put old exercise equipment like that 80s step and 90s ball back into reuse), but it also incorporates yoga moves and stretching to help the mind/body connection. If you are looking to motivate, this site will get you going-- guaranteed.