Brittani Guerra, 21, is a softball player who exercises at least five days a week. She usually works out with her team, but when she’s on her own she turns to Pinterest to incorporate pins into her daily workouts, which makes them more fun and challenging.
“It teaches me new ways to work out, new things to try, or things to work up to,” Guerra said. “So I guess it gives me motivation.”
Guerra is one of many women who are using social media in their fitness routines. Social media outlets – like Pinterest and Instagram – have seen a growing community of fitness users. In an informal survey this month, eight of 10 women said they use social media for fitness, workout ideas and motivation. Six of the women said Pinterest is their No. 1 source.
Pinterest is the place to envision a future wedding, holiday parties and new crafts, but especially a healthy or improved body. Most of the women said the overwhelming number of intimidating workout machines can push people away from the gym. They want to avoid looking like a newbie while reading instructions and hope no one is watching when they are forced to give up. They said there is nothing more discouraging than not knowing what to do in the gym.
Kaitlyn Muñoz, 22, said she has tried using popular gym equipment, such as medicine balls, a bosu ball, which is a spongy half ball that sits on the floor, and the TRX, which is a set of ropes and harnesses used for strength training.
To learn how to use the unfamiliar equipment,Muñoz said she went turned to Pinterest.
“I thought they were really effective because I didn’t know what I was doing with the equipment before,” Muñoz said.
And Pinterest workouts can be tailored to all fitness levels. The site’s search engine allows filters such as beginner, advanced, running, arms, legs and others. The wide variety of pins allows users to find almost any type of workout.
In the survey, most women such as Ann Libera, a 19-year-old dance student, said the most popular type of workouts are challenges.
“I like the challenges, like the 30-day squat challenge or push up challenge,” Libera said. “It pushes me to try everyday and gives me a goal.”
Other women surveyed said Pinterest consists only of pictures, which they said can be misleading. However, videos on Instagram provide credibility and help them to learn safely.
Amelia Getachew, a 22-year-old student and part-time retail worker, said this is the case for her.
“I get my workouts from Instagram and YouTube,” Getachew said. “The videos help me make sure I have the right form so I don’t hurt myself. They have more credibility because I can see it being done.”
Jacqueline Mata, 22, said, “It’s like I can see the results and that they really make you break a sweat if I follow the videos.”
Vanessa Herrera, 21, said technology plays a big part in the rise of Instagram fitness and her personal success story.
“A lot of people post slow motion videos,” Herrera said. “I like those. I can pick it up super quick that way.”
The surveyed women said the biggest advantage of using social media for fitness inspiration is accessibility.
“It’s somewhere I am able to view videos, not pay anything and learn a whole bunch of workouts I never knew of…for free,” Herrera said.