Does running through my Instagram feed count as cardio? Maybe not, but Instagram may get you thinking about health and fitness. With the endless posts of artfully arranged smoothie bowls and gym selfies of insta-famous fitness models, the health community on Instagram is hard to miss. But in the era of media influencers, it is important to evaluate if these accounts are influencing our lives in a positive or negative way.
One possible concern is that famous fitness models can possibly cause women to develop a negative self-image when constantly comparing themselves to these influencers. It is hard to remind ourselves that these fitness gurus are posting pictures with the most ideal lighting, at the right angle, and with the most flattering outfit that enhances their fit features.
Following these fitstagrammers can create an unhealthy and unrealistic idea of how our bodies should look at all times. However, there are also many fitness influencers that are admirably open about this issue and post candid images to show that their bodies do not always look picture perfect. Another concern is that some influencers get paid to post about certain brands, which may not reflect their true feelings about those products. Keep this in mind when taking brand advice from these influencers.
These fitness models have a responsibility to be role models to women and some take that role more seriously than others. It’s important that you follow and seek inspiration from accounts that are uplifting rather than discouraging. Overall, health and fitness influencers intend to share their passion and motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle. These accounts have the ability to positively influence healthy choices.
Many fitness gurus such as Kayla Itsines post workout videos so their followers can utilize their workouts to achieve fitness goals. Other influencers post their meals and healthy recipes so that their followers can recreate tasty dishes on their own. Sometimes the hardest part of developing a healthy lifestyle is getting ideas on how to do so. Instagram influencers show what works for them, which inspires followers to try similar methods.
My personal favorite influencer is Sarah’s Day. Sarah is an Australian YouTuber who shares her life through vlogs and Instagram posts. She is extremely honest and shares her workouts, healthy food creations, and overall healthy lifestyle ideas. She lives holistically and focuses on both her mental and physical well being. She has shown me many ways to become a healthier and therefore happier version of myself, and it is the account that I relate to most.
Another positive aspect of the insta-fitness culture is the community that it creates. I decided to join the community by making my own personal health account which is an outlet to post my experience as a health-enthused college student. This account allows me to follow a variety of fitness, food, or health inspiration content that motivates a healthy mindset. People have helpful advice on things like the best workout leggings, yoga mats, and protein bar brands. Other health accounts follow back and form a community that expresses support and interest in what you have to offer, which is uplifting and motivating. Without caring about who is seeing it and how many followers I have, it feels nice to have somewhere to post about that challenging spin class I completed or that delicious green smoothie I made myself afterward.
We are constantly scrolling through pictures and connecting to people both right next to us or across the world. There are many upsides that come with the ability to connect and share our lives, however, it is always important to consider the authenticity of what is being presented on social media. If it discourages you, unfollow; Instagram should not be a negative space. If it motivates you, take advantage of influencers because many have a lot of great advice on how to live healthilly and happily!
ALL PHOTOS: Instagram