5 ways online support can help you reach your fitness goals

By: Jessica Padykula

Author: Canadian Living


5 ways online support can help you reach your fitness goals

By: Jessica Padykula
Coming up with fitness and weight loss goals is one thing. But as many of us know, following though can be a bit more difficult.

Our advice? Don't go it alone. Finding support online – in the form of fitness communities and forums – can be a great way to stay the course to a healthier new you.

1. Power in (virtual) numbers
Having the support of others is definitely very important, explains Roger Nahas, founder of Best Body Bootcamp. "When you have a group of people that are trying to lose weight or stick to healthy habits, they can encourage each other and push each other," he says. You are also less likely to quit when you've made a commitment to a group. It's easy to make excuses for why you aren't going to exercise today or eat healthy, but if you have to be accountable to a group – whether online or off – you are more likely to stay committed.

2. Support whenever, wherever
There will always be days when you feel like you aren't losing weight fast enough and days when you feel like you have to cheat and have some junk food, Nahas says. This is when the support your online community can really save you. "Being part of an online community allows you to express those feelings and get positive feedback that will help you stay on course."

Forums also let you to read about and relate to the problems other people are facing. "It gives you that much more reason to stick to it," he adds.

3. You're never alone
Joining an online fitness community is a great idea, says Louise Vigneault, a trainer with Can-Fit-Pro. "Why do you think Facebook has become so popular?" she asks. "It helps you develop a relationship with other people who have the same interests as you." By joining an online fitness community or forum, you are able to develop relationships and experience a sense of community and belonging, she explains.
When you are part of a group setting, you just push yourself harder and are more committed to the whole process, Nahas says. "When you see that you are not the only one struggling and finding it difficult it gives you more confidence to keep going."

Page 1 of 24. All your bases are covered
Online fitness and weight loss communities can be a wealth of information. You'll be able to find almost anything online that you'll need to succeed, says Vigneault. "A fitness community or forum will help you reach your goals and give you different motivational techniques. It's always great to get ideas from people who have the same goals as you."

Vigneault also recommends that you keep a food journal. "Keep a daily log of your eating habits and write down everything you put in your mouth," she says. "You might be surprised how many calories you are taking in."
5. Information at your fingertips
The web is a great fitness and weigh loss tool because of all the tips, advice and information you can find there, Nahas says. "You can search local group exercise programs in your area, find forums where you can interact with others going through the same trials and tribulations, and you can also research different types of exercise programs and eating plans.”

Being able to do all that with a few clicks of a mouse can be the difference between giving up on – or reaching – your fitness goals.

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5 ways online support can help you reach your fitness goals