Every single person functions differently. One of the beauties of life is that we don’t all have the same way of doing things. When it comes to fitness, this can be particularly true. Unfortunately in the age of social media, it can be really easy to disregard this. Social media influencers and heavily edited photos make it that much harder. There’s no doubt we’re in the age of social media, so try not to use it to compare yourself to others when it comes to personal fitness.
This is easier said than done, but if you take the right actions, you can support your friends while doing your own thing. Some people are fitness gurus, go to the gym twice a day and basically bathe in pre-workout. For me, those types of people are a different breed. I’m not like that, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay.
Planning your own journey
It can be hard to focus on your own health and well-being if you’re constantly honed in on what other people are doing. When I’m at the gym or taking a fitness class, I’m often overwhelmed by the people who seem to be working out “better” than me. Ridiculous, right? It’s important to have your own plan and forget about those around you.
If you’re someone who struggles with this — or just don’t know where to start — you can start with things that you’re comfortable with. Personally, I love doing workout classes because they’re structured. If I’m just working out at the gym, I feel pressured to be doing certain things that I honestly may not even know how to do.
If you’re more of a gym guru, you can do your thing without bothering anyone. Everyone has their own way of working out. So rather than comparing yourself to others (whether you’re a gym rat or a fitness beginner), focusing on yourself and building up your well-being is vital.
How to avoid social media comparisons
Social media can be a dangerous place when it comes to fitness. On one hand, fitness accounts can be helpful for tips and tricks. On the other hand, we may be comparing ourselves to people who seem to have the perfect body, even if we don’t realize it.
If you’re someone who follows and sees social media posts about fitness, just make sure to take it in the right way. I don’t follow many of these accounts, but the ones I follow are ones with simple workout tips. If you aren’t someone who lifts weights and you see a video of someone benching 300 pounds, you may be a little discouraged. You don’t need that! Just follow the accounts that boost your morale or give you work-out ideas.
In relation to this, it’s easy to get caught up daydreaming about the ideal body, dwelling on the pictures of bodies we think we need to have. This kind of stigma needs to end. When it comes to fitness, we all have our own plans. We also all have completely different body types, which makes it impossible to compare our bodies to others.
If these accounts tend to get you down or make you feel discouraged, unfollow them! The people behind the accounts just want to share their passions, not discourage us. If we feel upset about them, we have to unfollow them because that’s not what they’re there for.
Supporting your friends
Even though we shouldn’t compare our own fitness journeys to others, we can still support them. I have a few friends who are much more into fitness than I am, and I think it’s great for them. One of my high school friends does bikini bodybuilding competitions, which isn’t something I could do, but she loves it, so I’m happy for her. A lot of the time, our friends and family can be down about their bodies. Why not lift them up? Sometimes people miss a day at the gym or don’t have as good of a workout, but we can be there to say it’s okay.
Like I said before, I’m not a huge gym gal. I get bored easily. When I found workout classes I liked, my roommate started going with me. She enjoyed them, and this encouraged me to go and do my best. The best part about going on a workout bender is the self-care that comes along with it. Not to mention, friends and family give extra support and encouragement!
Supporting each other can boost your confidence. Rather than being down about not being fit enough, you can feel good about what you’re doing. Fitness is about improving your body and mind, so there’s no need to compare to others.
As I walk to class, at least four people will run by me. I can choose to be inspired or discouraged, and it all depends on the way I view it. I didn’t start working out until recently because up until this point, I would see friends going to the gym and would feel bad about myself. Instead of feeling bad, I started taking action and creating my own plan. Now that I’ve done this, I feel so much better.
It may not seem like it, but fitness is relevant in everyone’s lives. Since we’re all unique individuals, we all have different ways of working out and staying fit. Fitness is a broad term. It means something different for everyone, which is why we should all support each other’s individual meanings.