How Instagram has changed the way we train and how to survive it. (#CoupleGoals)

How to exercise effectively in the Instagram age

You are what you wear. Instagram has revolutionised the approach to working out. Gone are the days when your gym kit was the most hideous selection of clothing in your wardrobe. Social media has transformed the gym floor into a sweaty catwalk for twenty and thirty-somethings looking to flaunt their sculpted bodies in the most flattering assortment of sportswear.

How Social Media has become a Marketing tool

The likes of Gymshark have a lot to answer for in this respect. Social media has always been, and remains to be, a key marketing tool for the clothing brand. And its use of influencers, who are vital in imploring customer re-investment into the brand and its products, continues to drive sales. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that #fitness has featured in 315,037,661 posts on Instagram, dwarfing some of Instagram’s most renowned hashtags (#nofilter, #photography and #foodporn).

Fitness Fashion spreads to equipment

It is not just your clothes that need to make the cut, your equipment should adhere to a certain aesthetic requirement too. Whether it’s your yoga mat, boxing gloves or parallettes; they now require a certain brand or ‘look’. By all means take pride in your appearance (you never know who you might meet) but don’t lose sight of the fact that working out is intended to train your body and make you feel good both physically and mentally – the NHS suggests that regular exercise can lower the risk of depression by up to 30% – and not just improve your online social status.

Surviving the Instagram age

With all this hype surrounding aesthetics, here’s our advice for utilising Instagram to your advantage.

  1. Make goal-related posts

It is best to keep your posts as goal related as possible. (There’s not much worse than a rogue #gymselfie). If you’ve just hit your 5km personal best, post about it. If you’re proud of the one-rep max you just hit, post about it, but don’t always showcase the cringiest of locker room images online.

Social media is an opportunity to document your achievements and show you, your friends and family just how far you’ve come. You can then use these posts as a gauge when setting bigger and better goals in the future.

If you struggle to sustain motivation and stick to the targets you set yourself, you can use social media to publicise your goal, increasing the chance of you sticking to it. Nobody will donate to your Marathon JustGiving page if they know you’re someone who quits at the first sign of ‘The Wall’.

  1. Follow impactful influencers

Don’t just use Instagram to gawp and fantasise. There’s a whole lot of nonsense out there in cyber space. Seek influencers that fit your tastes and sporting interests. If you like gymnastics follow the likes of Max Whitlock. The influencers who you follow should inspire you to achieve greater goals, try new things and extend the parameters of your workout regime, rather than just booty gains or ab shots.

  1. Invest in quality equipment

Looks help, but they shouldn’t be the main focus when purchasing equipment. Premium quality lasts longer and looks better. A wise man once said: ‘quality is remembered long after price is forgotten’. You are sure to remember the price if your most recent purchase breaks after its forth use. Always do your research when purchasing fitness equipment. Check reviews and don’t be tentative with your wallet when purchasing. You really do pay for what you get in this market.

  1. Post away from the gym

One of the most common disruptions to a training session is social media. If you’re looking to share some recent exercise achievements do it at home. In order to get the most out of your workout you should remove any distractions.

  1. Workout with a friend

Social media may feel like socialising, but it can be incredibly exclusive. Go to a HIIT or spin class with a friend and incorporate exercise into your relationships. Take your partner for a game of tennis or go on a run with your Dad. Working out doesn’t have to be done alone!

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