So you’ve decided to get back to a regular exercise regimen. You’ve dusted off the workout shoes, pulled the workout gear out of the depths of your dresser drawer, and returned your gym membership to your wallet instead of using it as a bookmark as you have been doing for the last many months.
For the first several weeks, everything goes according to plan, but then work and family life take hold again and your workout time falls to the wayside. If only you had someone who was there to encourage and motivate you or even just listen when you needed to vent about your health and exercise frustrations. It’s not that your family and friends aren’t a great support system, but discussing your health goals with them can get a bit sticky at times. You’d prefer to find people going through the same situation; people with the same goals and pitfalls.
So you ask yourself, “where can I find exercise support that is there when I need it?” and you know that going online is the answer but where should you start?
There are a whole host of options available that have varying levels of committment and interaction necessary to foster relationships and gain what you need. There are sites that are heavily community-driven while others are merely blogs that provide exercise and fitness information with a good dose of humor (which we appreciate, of course).
Hopefully the list below will give you a great head start to all of the resources out there.
For Social Media Enthusiasts
These sites are for people who want to converse actively and use the very current-day social media tools they’re already using for other aspects of their lives.
- Social Workout provides an innovative way to be social and get moving. You can keeping yourself accountable by tracking your activities and seeing how others are doing and providing support. You can also join a challenge or two (or more) to push yourself and have some fun along the way.
- Twitter Exercise Motivation Team (#temt) is new group as straightforward as it sounds. If you’re active on Twitter and looking to connect in 140 characters (at least initially) and watch as the team grows and evolves, this group is for you. There are people from all over the world participating on the team and using their teammates for support and accountability.
- Bookieboo is a community-driven site that offers weight loss support to mothers everywhere. Their Mamavation campaign is also a great look into how integral social media can be throughout you experience. To engage with the community, you need to become a member.
- Twit2fit is also a community-driven site but this is for both men and women. This site takes on a whole person approach and topics address more than just whether or not your burning enough calories. To engage with the community, you have to become a member here as well.
For the Online Bookworms
These sites are for people who want to read encouraging and useful posts but don’t intend to engage as actively. You may want to comment from time to time or follow the authors on Twitter, but you don’t intend to be discussing your weekly progress or challenges.
- Fitness & Spice is a blog by Joanna Sutter that covers fitness, food, and fashion with a healthy dose of sarcasm thrown in for good measure. If you’re looking to read posts that provide useful information about fitness accessories, effective recipes, and general workout-related discussions then this site is a great destination for you. Say “hi” to her on Twitter and tell her Whimsical Walney sent you.
- Fitbottomed Girls is blog produced through a team effort and it provides a range of information about fitness, health, and personal experiences in the quest to get fit.
- fitGLOSS is part of the GLOSS network and offers information about health, wellness, and fitness. All of the posts are straightforward and to the point so this is a great site if you’re short on time but looking for good information.
- Facebook is, well, you know what it is and for many people it’s a one-stop-shop therefore if you’re already actively using Facebook, check out keywords like fitness, exercise, or health and see what kinds of groups are out there that would fit your personality and goals.
- Twitter is the microblogging tool that so many know and love and an easy (and permanent) way to stay accountable by tweeting your goals as well as document your progress. You can also converse with others about how you’re doing and are likely to meet some nice, new friends along the way.
Regardless of what tool or tools you choose, the most important thing to remember is to move your body every day.
For those who are already part of an online exercise/workout community which sites do you find most helpful?