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by Zara
20 May

Why Social Fitness Apps Majorly Ramp Up Your Success

We all know exercise is good for us. Being physically active lowers your risks of certain diseases, it can elevate your mood, and it does wonders for your waistline. We also know about the risks of obesity and the benefits of aggressively pursuing fitness.

Scientists, governments, even your mom knows: the science is that clear. Getting fit will add years to your life. Period.

Once you've established a regimen, and made it a habit, exercise is no big chore. Getting into an exercise routine on your own is hard.  So hard that a lot of folks give up too soon or simply won't even try anymore. After all, what's the point if you know you're going to fail? Again. And sometimes joining a class can feel more intimidating than helpful. But what's the alternative?

But what if science tells us there is a simple mechanism to build into your fitness approach that significantly increases your chances of success? What if that mechanism wasn't tied to a specific diet program, speciality gyms, personal trainers, or a new line of crazily pricey foods that taste like cardboard?

Guess what. Science has found such a mechanism, and it's so simple that you might not even believe it at first. It's true, though. So what do you need to do to harness this power?


Do It Together

Yes, together.

Recent research funded by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases adds science-backed evidence to the mounting pile of anecdotal evidence that including an element of competition in a weight loss program results in far better outcomes.

Working as a team makes a tangible, meaningful difference in fitness -- specifically, in weight loss. And not just a minuscule difference, either. A statistically significant one. And for those who understand and appreciate good research design and solid statistical analysis, this is a game changer.

The most exciting takeaways from this large-scale study of more than 12,000 participants in the Shape Up Rhode Island initiative mirrored results from related studies on group-based fitness programs. Results from their analyses suggest that the weight loss of your teammates can heavily influence your own success and that the more socially connected you are, the more likely you are to achieve some jaw-dropping levels of weight loss. Dr Tricia Leahey and colleagues summarize some of their most important findings this way:

. . . weight losses tended to “cluster” within teams. . . a 1-unit change in self-reported teammate social influence for weight loss increased the odds of achieving a clinically significant weight loss by 20%. This effect was stronger than any other team characteristic. . . weight loss may spread through social ties, and that social network characteristics may influence weight outcomes in overweight and obese individuals.

Well, that's great news for people who live in Rhode Island and are a part of their wildly successful, statewide program. But suppose you're not a Rhode Islander. Suppose you're a work-a-day person with limited time and a strong desire to give yourself those same benefits, but you're at a loss for how you might join a group to make that happen?

Well, for some people, the answer is social fitness.


What Is Social Fitness?

Thanks to technology, we are more connected to each other than ever before. Just look at social media sites. We can talk to our friends and family, keep up with each other's daily happenings, share pictures of our food, and talk about our favourite movies, books, and celebrities.

Social fitness platforms take that connectivity and allow us to form communities of like-minded people who have fitness goals, but who may not have the kind of local support they need to achieve them. So by plugging in your wearable device, you can upload your numbers to the site, giving you a single place to keep track of what you're doing, and to see what others are doing. You can also discuss fitness habits, talk with others, join groups, issue challenges, and participate in group goals.


3 Advantages of Social Fitness

#1: Community

It's hard to achieve fitness goals on your own, and social fitness is a way for you to find a network that can support you in your journey. Whether you're a runner, a weightlifter, training for a particular event or someone who has just started a healthy journey, you can find people who are there to help you. People who will discuss training and workout regimens, and who will leave positive feedback on your achievements. Having a network of people to interact with, even if they only exist in a digital space, can be a huge boost.

#2: Accountability

People always say that when you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight and get in shape that you should bring a friend with the same goal. Because it's easy to tell yourself that you'll get up and go to the gym after this episode, or that you'll go tomorrow, but if you're accountable to a friend then it's a lot harder for you to skip sessions, or to only give a token effort. Social fitness platforms put your stats online for all your connections to see, and if you start skipping days, or your numbers start slipping, then people are going to ask why. If you know someone's watching, you're more likely to give it your all.

#3: Metrics

While you can technically get your fitness and health metrics off any wearable device, using a social fitness platform can provide you with additional organizational capabilities. You can look at your performance by day, by week, and by month, to get a sense of where you are, and where you were when you started on your current track. And if you use a social fitness platform, it allows other people to look at your performance history, and to see the same thing you're seeing. Sometimes that long-running history is just what you need to show people the journey you've taken, and to help shape your new goals. Also, knowing more about your most important asset - your health and well-being will help you take better care of yourself.

These are just a few benefits of using a social fitness platform to supercharge your exercise and health goals. If you're not sure which of the available platforms is best for you, though, you should start your search at inKin.

You might have some friends who would be up for establishing a group, but you all have different fitness trackers with different associated apps for tracking progress. No one has the time (and few the expertise) to accurately aggregate and tabulate everyone else's data, much less set up a website or messaging system to get the info out to everyone promptly. It's just too much of a hassle. That's where inKin can make the difference between success and continued failure.

inKin's tech enables users to easily, seamlessly, and effectively connect with one another, including groups whose members use a variety of fitness wearables and a variety of fitness apps.

And the icing on the (hopefully protein packed, low-calorie) cake? Getting started is a breeze. Download the app, sync your device using the dashboard, join some contests and you're on your way. Bring on the competition -- and the weight loss!

Your place of employment might even already have an inKin account set up for employees. If they don't yet, let them know how they can play a role in enhancing their employees' health -- and save the company money at the same time. 

Don't wait until tomorrow. Start getting fit today!

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

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