How to Use Social Media to Motivate Your Workouts in 3 Easy Steps


Social media can be a huge time suck. It’s easy to waste an hour skimming Facebook or falling down a crafty Pinterest wormhole. But, as much as social media can be used to put off exercising, it can be even more useful to motivate a workout.

The other night, I had a challenging run on my calendar. I’d already done a tough swim early that morning, and work had gone a little late, and all of a sudden, it was after 6 p.m. and I was really tired and, man, I did not want to run. So, I put out a call for help on Twitter and Facebook.

Mere moments later, I had a whole slew of people offering every type of encouragement a gal could possibly need. Some reminded me that I never regret going, but always regret skipping a workout. Others told me to get off my lazy ass and take advantage of the gorgeous Florida weather. Still others mentioned that after I run, I could have a glass of wine as training for my upcoming half marathon.

I went out and had one of the best runs of my life. And I want you to have that sort of experience, too, so, I present to you Kristen’s Guide to Using Social Media for Motivation in 3 Easy Steps.

Step 1: Find Your Community

Whatever type of exercise you like to do, surround yourself (virtually, anyway) with like-minded people. For example, if you’re a runner, do a search on Twitter for #run, #running, #5k, whatever suits you best. Don’t just follow anybody, of course, but try to find a few people whose Tweets you like—if you want positive and funny or hardcore and serious, follow people who seem to fit that mold. Then, see who they interact with, and when you see a conversation that’s interesting, follow the other person, too.

Better yet, jump in with your own witty comments and encouragement! Before you know it, you’ll all be Tweeting each other like old friends. Shoot, I even exchange holiday cards with some of the friends I’ve made this way.

Twitter is always there for me.

If you have trouble finding your kind of peeps, try our list of Fellow FBGs—we know there are some super cool people on there!

If Facebook is more your style, make sure you’re friending folks with similar interests. This might mean liking your local track club/running store/Zumba class’ page and trying to get to know some of the folks there. Of course, you might be surprised by some of the friends you already have—it’s not just my fellow runners who step up when I need motivation!

Step 2: Ask for Help

This part is pretty obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. If you don’t like admitting you could use a hand, well, you have two choices. Get over it and take advantage of the generosity that’s out there, or, uhh, don’t. There’s nothing wrong with feeling uninspired once in a while, but make sure you’re not relying on other people to get you out the door for every single workout. Fab as the virtual community is, getting the work done still comes down to you.

Step 3: Stay Involved

This isn’t just a one-way street. Make sure you’re giving back, giving encouragement when your online friends ask, and congratulations when people share their results. And that’s another thing! Follow up and let people know that you did the workout, and thank them for the help. I love knowing that something I said got someone to do something awesome; sometimes that in itself inspires me to exercise.

Feel weird about just writing an update? Use a tracking tool like Daily Mile or RunKeeper to automatically post your workouts. Hey, you never know. Someone might read about your bike ride and be struck with a sudden urge to hit Spin class!

Do you utilize social media for motivation? What else would you suggest? —Kristen

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  1. Mike says:

    These are great tips. I think the most important thing to do with social media is to have a goal before you go up there. Especially if you are about to go exercise.

    You can accidentally spend a ton of time on social media sites if your not careful so when I get on I give myself a time limit, usually 10 or 20 minutes.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Kristen! I am a recent ex-college athlete and am learning how to workout on my own for the first time in my life. I generally try to find a buddy to workout with so I can motivate myself to go and not let the other person down. However, for the days that I go solo, it takes a little bit more convincing not to hit snooze. I generally workout better in the morning so not much time for motivation for social media. Do you have any other tips?

  3. Julio Yohe says:

    Thanks for the tips Kristen! In my case, I am becoming too lazy to do workouts because I used to spend so much time in Social Media. I like your advice and probably these tips will help me to become motivated again. Thanks for sharing! 😀

  4. anna jaanna says:

    You can do it!

  5. Brad says:

    Good advice about finding your community on social media. My favorite is Pinterest as I can get all the motivation and support from the pictues and infographics. It is a great timesaver instead of writing messages and so on on Facebook. Also Pinterest is dead simple to use so another great time saver.

  6. CJ says:

    Great tips-It’s easy to forget that FB and Twitter really are “communities”, and people love to be involved and share in our journeys. Invite and Win!

  7. I agree with you! Usually, I make social media as my avenue to follow really inspiring individuals that achieved so much to become fit and healthy. I need someone who can tell me that what I am doing now, all my struggles and sacrifices, will be rewarded in the future. I do lots of heavy workouts and without the help of social media, I might have skipped lots of training schedule.

  8. George says:

    These are fantastic tips! It’s always nice to see people using ‘time-wasters’ such as Facebook and Twitter to get themselves motivated! I’ll be using these in the future on days when it’s hard to get off the computer and work out!

  9. Hey Kristen,

    These’re awesome tips for workout motivation. I think social media can be applied to get motivation for other activities in life, like personal development,etc.
    Thanks again.

    All best,

  10. FitGangg says:

    I agree with this blog 100%. It’s blogs like these that fueled my inspiration for my blog. If any of you women are looking for a fitness blog to follow that includes workouts, recipes and inspirational pictures, check it out!

    Go Social Media!!

  11. Siobhan says:

    Hey Kristen!
    Awesome post! I really like the idea of using social media to keep you motivated. Something that usually distracts us from doing anything can do the opposite. Your scenario was relatable and your steps were easy to follow.

    Your blog aesthetics are quirky and simple. I like the background theme because a little colour never hurt anyone, which many blogs make the mistake of today. However, the ads down the side of the post are a tad overwhelming and distracting. I’d also suggest perhaps a few more images for the post to inspire your readers even more.

    The idea of setting out your post in steps is great! Simplifying, especially on the web, is the best way to go as people are less inclined to read too much bulk. A few more funky fonts and bold headlines could also be useful too. Your writing style is perfect though, I love the conversational tone and enthusiasm.

  12. It must be the great post by Kristen.I really appreciate the suggestion to giving encouragement when your online friends ask, and congratulations when people share their results.

  13. Hi! I’m just visiting your blog and found it interesting.