Achieve your 2016 fitness resolutions with social media

Social media has catapulted a new wave of fitness gurus into the spotlight, launching global cult followings of trendy new workouts… and the key to success? Being part of an online, virtual community of like-minded followers all looking to achieve their goals! Being able to stay motivated and find support is now as simple as flicking through the apps on your phone.

You might be asking yourself – how? With modern lifestyles being busy and demanding, it’s not always easy to find the motivation to get up that extra hour earlier or go to the gym instead of putting your feet up at the end of a long day. It certainly isn’t always going to be easy and convenient to find a partner to workout with or to motivate you to keep going. Social media might potentially provide an alternative workout buddy for you.

A quick scroll through Instagram and you will see a slew of accounts dedicated to people from around the world looking to lose weight and get in shape as their 2016 resolutions. Look a little bit closer, and you will find niche communities of people dedicated to all the biggest fitness crazes; crossfit, iron man, Ninja Warrior – they are all there.

Some of these communities have even gone one step further. Instagram sensation Kayla Itsines has sparked global member-run meet-ups, where people meet to worship at the altar of her fitness guides. Globally, fitness challenges will start and members post their progress snaps along the way. Members of these online communities encourage and celebrate what pride, something which may previously have been wrongly labelled as vanity.

1. Find your niche – if you’re into exercising at a gym, why not check out these personal trainers in London? If you want to try something new and you’re not quite sure what that is, search ‘exercise classes near me’ for inspiration to get the blood flowing in 2016.

2. Find your people – even if you aren’t the kind of person to post 20 gym selfies a day, you’ll appreciate the motivation of being able to check in with your community – even if to only give the thumbs-up that you’ve completed your workout for the day. You’ll also find tons of inspiration for nutrition ideas, new workout challenges and local meet-ups.

3. Document! Take some before pictures or make a note of where you’ve started, whether you’re losing weight, building muscle or training for an event. You may not want to shout about it now, but you’ll appreciate being able to sit back and admire your hard work when you reach your goals.

4. Get online! You might not want to post on your Facebook with your boss and second cousin lurking, but why not try Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest? Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and to share your thoughts. Use those hashtags and build yourself a support group.

Whatever your fitness goals are for 2016, there is certainly more than one way to skin a cat! Why not try joining the global fitness community and reach your milestones with a world full of support?

2016’s top exercise routines for you to try

We all think about starting an exercise routine every now and again, but few of us ever see it through. Break the mould, be one of those people who branch out beyond their comfort zone and try out a few of the new year’s top routines.

1. Morning yoga classes

Exercise isn’t always about breaking a sweat and building layer upon layer of muscle. Practices such as yoga help improve other elements of the body, from flexibility to balance, while also helping your mental well-being in countless different ways. All of this can prepare you for a long, hard day, which is why it has caught on as more and more people lead stressful work lives. It’s also why such poses are best performed soon after you wake up.

2. Core exercises

The rest of your body is weakened if your core strength isn’t there, which is why people are starting to pay more attention to this key element of any exercise routine. It is also becoming increasingly popular due to most people’s desire to have sleek, toned abs.

Fortunately it’s one of those areas where there are many simple exercises that you can do, with a quick routine which is easy to fit into every day. You can start off with a series of crunches, going up to 25 or 50 depending on your current fitness levels. Lying on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees, pull your belly button into your spine and perform a standard sit-up movement.

Another good addition to your routine is a series of plank exercises. Start off on all fours, breath in then straighten your legs into a downward dog position, holding it for five breaths. Afterwards, return to the plank position and repeat.

3. Waist exercises

No one likes to carry around stubborn weight on their mid-point, which is why waist exercises will always be popular. As with yoga routines and core exercises, one of the reasons they are catching on is because each part of the overall routine is simple and quick to do, with the opportunity to mix and match with whatever works best for you.

V-sits are often a good way to begin, as they not only leave you with a flatter stomach but also help to elongate your torso. Lying on your back with your arms and legs both stretched, you lift your legs and torso simultaneously, keeping the former straight at all times, before slowly lowering yourself again.

You can also add gym equipment into your routine, if you have it to hand. For instance, using a gym ball you can do a series of crunches which target your obliques (the side points of your abdominals) as well as your upper abdominals themselves. Sitting on the ball while holding a medicine ball above your head, walk both feet away from you until your torso is supported at a minor incline. Contract the abdominals, curl your head and slowly lower yourself back to the original position again.