#Fitspo – How Fitness Influencers Impact Our Lives

Images of toned bodies are prolific on Instagram and are often classed as #fitspo. Source: Pexels.com

Instagram is breeding a new form of celebrity – the fitness influencer.

Many personal trainers, fitness enthusiasts and amateur athletes are using this platform to build lucrative personal brands with huge followings.

A 2017 study suggests that Instagram gives brands and celebrities up to 400% more engagement than Facebook.

This boasts an incredible opportunity for fitness influencers to reach an engaged audience with their health and fitness message.

Instagram is a powerful platform for fitness influencers. Source: Pexels.com

How Do Fitness Influencers Build Their Brand?

Instagram is a visual platform which lends itself well to the kind of content fitness influencers share.

Before and after photos showcasing the results real people have achieved using their programs are common fodder on fitness influencers pages.

Along with workout videos, gym selfies, healthy food posts and inspirational quotes, fitness influencers market a lifestyle to their many followers.

Heathy food photos are common on fitness influencers Instagram pages. Source: Pexels.com

Most form training programs, eating guides, ebooks and apps such as Kayla Itsines Sweat App, that sell well among their engaged followers looking to achieve the same body and lifestyle that is on view.

So what effect do these fitness influencers’ images and messages have on our lives?

The Concept of the Highlight Reel

The highlight reel on Instagram shows the very best moments of life. Source: Pexels.com

Instagram and other social media sites are often stated to be highlight reels – only the best and most exciting moments of your life are posted on social media.

A fit, toned body perfectly posed to look the most appealing, the most exciting vacation spot and even the most fashionable active wear – all of this highlights the ‘highs’ of life.

This means it is easy for individuals to compare their imperfect moments to other people’s best moments.

“Social media is loaded with images that aim to influence, from the vain-glorious selfies of beautiful women on Instagram to healthy living bloggers posting daily meal recaps, it’s easy to fall into a comparison trap.”                                                                                                                                                              – Tara Sabo

This can have all sorts of effects on individuals who follow fitness influencers.

The Positive and Negative Effects of #Fitspo Influence

Fitness influencers encourage a healthy lifestyle, promoting body positivity and self-love within their online communities.

With millions of followers using these guides, there are countless testimonials from women grateful for the results they have achieved.

It cannot be denied many women have changed their lives and health for the better.

However, for some this is not the case.

A recent study, linked a steady stream of #fitspo to women having less satisfaction with their own bodies and increased negative emotions overall.

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 6.04.42 pm
Kayla’s message to not compare yourself to anyone, even her, stands in stark contrast to the paired image of her toned abs. Source: Kayla Itsine’s Instagram

Many individuals develop harmful behaviours with their food and exercise – hinting the toxicity of diet culture is present on social media and part of our everyday lives.

While this is the opposite message fitness influencers want to spread to their followers,  their influence on our lives is real and far-reaching.

Do you follow fitness influencers on Instagram? What impact do you think they have on our lives? 

Share your thoughts below ↓

5 thoughts on “#Fitspo – How Fitness Influencers Impact Our Lives

  1. I follow some and they do inspire me to get my life together, but sometimes I do feel bad that I am not consistent and I see all these people benefiting from doing so. I considered taking a weight gain supplement just because I was desperate to do better.


  2. This is probably the most “it actually makes sense” kind of post I’ve seen on on this subject. Best part… I didn’t have to go digging through some weird web design to find it. Awesome! Please keep posting new material!


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