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Social Media and the Climate of Fitness

It’s become fashionable, almost expected, to poke fun at the #fitspiration crowd. The messages are counterproductive, the status updates reek of insecurity, the list goes on. Even magazines with no business in fitness are getting into the act with headlines like these: “People who post their fitness routine to Facebook have psychological problems, study claims.”

There is some truth to these claims, but before jumping on the hater’s high horse, consider this: fitness has always been a social endeavor. Even before the first Olympic games more than 2500 years ago, health, fitness, and nutrition have been closely tied to status, competition, and even divinity. As the times have changed, our victory shout has become our status update and olive wreaths have become Facebook ‘likes,’ but human nature is the same.

The internet allows for new ways to share information and create relationships, and it is up to us to leverage these relationships in a productive way, just like the physical culture clubs of the early 2000s, the Persian zurkhaneh, and the Greek gymnasia have done in times past.


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