The Daily Gamecock

Internet's fitness resources provide added workout effectiveness

If you didn’t catch the paper yesterday, here’s the big headline: USC is a top nationally ranked university in health and fitness.
As someone who regularly takes advantage of the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center and the tennis courts and soccer fields on campus, this didn’t surprise me. Even if you’re not active yourself, you can see students running around campus, Five Points and the city at all times of the day.

I’ve been frequenting the Strom since my first year on campus. Since then, I’ve changed my workout habits a lot as I learn new things about fitness and take new classes. I’ve also noticed a shift in the workouts of others, as more and more people join online fitness communities like the ones on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram.

Girls aren’t just doing endless cardio in hopes of losing weight, and skipping weights because they’re “afraid of getting huge.” Thanks to the Web, more people are learning about how effective weight training and cardio are, and now I see more creative workouts each time I go.

Another benefit of looking at weight loss or fitness information online is that the people who post them won’t stop. A New York University study showed that often when people diet, their friends and family compliment them as encouragement. However, the Daily Mail wrote, “the positive recognition people receive when discussing their diet can be interpreted as accomplishment. As a result, dieters are less likely to stick to their plan as strictly as before.”

This doesn’t mean you have to be secretive or go it alone. When my friend and I decided to really give up bad food and get in shape, we held each other accountable to keep oursleves on the right track.
Following fitness blogs can have the same effect, because you’re constantly seeing images telling you to run, squat, lift, walk, dance or just move. It’s also a great way to learn more about what you need to eat to accomplish any fitness goal — weight loss, muscle growth or whatever it is you wish to pursue.

On that note, food is a huge part of fitness, and there’s a lot of misinformation about it. There are a lot of quick fixes like juice fasts or detox, but if you’re busy with school and work, you don’t have time to sit around all day due to the lack of energy these cause. Websites and apps like MyFitnessPal or help you easily track what you eat as well as figure out what you need to be eating to accomplish your goals.

If you’re scared to try a group exercise class, don’t be. Everyone in there is a part of the university community, and they all want the same thing as you: to be a better version of themselves.

If you still just want to dip your toes, go online and search anything related to “fitspo” or “fitblr” on Tumblr. Having the help of a million strangers just might be the push you need to get into a healthier and more fit lifestyle.