Social Media & Decision-Making For Wellness
Social Media is one of the most potent and powerful media connecting people across geographical boundaries and timelines. It allows us to consume colossal amounts of information on just about any conceivable topic in multiple formats. Entertainment, education, news, arts & sciences… information pertaining to any field is available 24/7. You are only limited by your own choices and ability to surf. This can feel very liberating and empowering.
However, as with everything else in life, it comes with caveats. The pace of social media is so frenetic that it gets quickly overwhelming and can cloud one’s better judgment. One needs to stay vigilant against getting swept up in the torrent of (glitzy) information, not abandon due diligence in sieving what is relevant and in authenticating veracity. This is very true with respect to the field of fitness/wellness.
With so many videos, blogs, images, and influencer content swirling all around, it can get difficult to determine what may/may not work for you. Worse, caught up in the frenzied churn of content over diverse media, you may skip making such assessments! But you must.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Unfortunately, fitness/wellness is one of the fields where entry barriers have historically been abysmally low. Especially in a country like ours where it, not a licensed profession, it is up to the coach/trainer to honestly acquire relevant skills before jumping to impart training to others and remain invested in upgrading knowledge & skills.
- This can (and does) get highly risky for clients who may get seriously injured due to a lack of proper coaching based on sound, scientific, structured principles of training.
- Working out/playing a sport or performing any activity or practice does not make someone a coach, no matter how good they might appear to be on social media; Just like consuming regular medicines for your health condition doesn’t render you a doctor or an expert on it.
- Social Media can blur the sense of self-worth, creating identity crises and restlessness for many. The lure of followers and recognition, the need to be “out there”, influence people, and make instant statements can get overpowering and cause people to overshoot and step into domains they aren’t trained or qualified for. In medical terms, you would refer to such a person as a ‘quack.’
- Trends come and go and can be compellingly luring, given that today becomes ‘so yesterday’ even before the sun has set on it. However, not all trends bring value; in fact, some can be dangerous for health. Influencers can be hard-pressed and may find themselves caught up being such trendsetters, especially if their earnings depend on it.
So how can you use Social Media smartly to make better decisions about your Health, Fitness, and Wellness?
A few tips to hold on to:
- As with deciding a coach in person, check out the credentials and experience of an online coach before you blindly start following exercise videos online. If you already have an existing health condition or recent injury, this becomes even more imperative.
- Best to follow programs that have inbuilt progressions (and regressions) for every exercise and which are demonstrated well with proper guidance on form.
- Listen to your body! If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It may look easy watching a move because the person demonstrating it could have a lot of practice. But if it feels difficult for you, scale it down, and if it feels painful, don’t do it. Look for a better fit in your workouts.
- Use common sense. You can follow someone for inspiration, but you cannot short circuit the process of getting fit.
- There is no “best trainer” and no “best exercise/workout.” What works well and safely for you is best for you. Period.
Choose wisely from the buffet that is Social Media. Work mindfully with your strengths and weaknesses to become a healthier and fitter version of yourself!
About Vani Pahwa
Vani B. Pahwa is Health & Wellness Evangelist, and Founder, Body In Motion, who specializes in Functional-Fitness, and Cancer Exercise & Rehabilitation. With almost 2 decades of experience, and certifications from leading internationally-accredited and globally-recognized fitness institutions, Vani is the leading Wellness Expert for Multinational Corporations and is a recognized Speaker and Coach. An Indian Classical Dancer, Vani encompasses her learnings from dance to everyday movement making “exercise and training for life, not just events.” To know more about Vani and her premium wellness services, visit https://www.bodyinmotion.in