The hidden dark side of running a fitness-themed Instagram account

Creating an Instagram account focused on fitness can be beneficial, but it can also be harmful (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto).

When 31-year-old Tom Jenan opened a fitness account on Instagram in 2018, it seemed like a natural progression.

He’s always been passionate about fitness, from the personal trainer to the nutrition and fitness expert at Nature’s Health Box.

Tom wanted to share his knowledge, and by posting practice guides, training guides and messages about what I eat during the day, he regularly ended up spending two hours a day on the bill.

Tom’s report was one of many. Besides being influenced by hundreds of thousands of followers, Instagram has become the place where people from all over the world can find fitness content.

Among the #fitnessjourney hashtag, there are currently over 26.5 million posts with similar fitness postures in matching active wear kits, before-after comparisons and training videos to fit.

And with the advent of 2021 and the annual craze for a new year, a new me is born. There is no shortage of fitness challenges on online social media and promises to help you get off to a good start in the new year.

It is recommended that you have a social media fitness account to stay motivated, communicate with other members of the fitness community and keep track of your progress.

But Tom has discovered that the fitness content can be a dangerous noose for those who create it.

Although he says that he paid a lot of attention to himself through his work in the fitness industry, social media exacerbated his fixation on his body.

When you train people, you focus on other people, he tells Metro.co.uk. But when you publish permanent images on social media, you look at yourself and focus on every little detail.

Tom regularly published up to eight stories a day, but creating content on Instagram made him obsessed with every aspect of his body.

The hidden dark side of running a fitness-themed Instagram account

Easy to attach to body parts (Photo: Getty Images/fStop)

I wanted bigger shoulders, bigger breasts, thinner abs, a V-neck, he says. It is also a constant pressure to release quality content.

You’d spend 20 minutes trying to find the right plan for different lovers.

Sometimes Tom shot a training video and hated to watch it, which he eventually repeated several times until he was exhausted.

Studies over the years have shown that the consumption of fitness products can have a negative impact on your mental health. One study showed that exposure to fitness content on social media was associated with increased weight anxiety. And researchers at University College London found that increased use of Instagram was associated with an increased risk of developing orthorexia, especially for those following the effects of a healthy diet.

Although Tom is still firmly rooted in the fitness world, he withdrew from social media after realizing how negatively it affected his life. As soon as I stopped taking pictures, I relaxed about my appearance, he says.

Creating fitness accounts can be particularly disadvantageous for people with a history of eating disorders. A spokesman for the Beat charity told us: Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with complex causes. Setting up an Instagram fitness program is therefore not necessarily the only direct reason why a person develops an eating disorder.

However, many people with eating disorders count calories or striving for weight loss to the point of obsession, and anything that contributes to this can make this behavior easier or more difficult to heal.

Alesia, a 24-year-old administrative assistant, insists that she never suffered from an eating disorder, but rather from body dysmorphism.

The hidden dark side of running a fitness-themed Instagram account

These accounts were created with good intentions (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto).

She posted Instagram Health and Fitness during her first suspension in March after registering for a fitness class. I thought it would be a good idea to monitor my progress by meeting like-minded people and sharing the recipes I’m trying to share, she says.

His diet soon became a collage of progress photos, colorful recipes and training selfish.

Будучи частью фитнес-сообщества на Инстаграме, она повысила степени свою самоооценку в некоторой связана, следуя за людьми, с которыми не связана, и людьми, с которыми могла бы общаться, но это также оказало отрицательное влияние.

Когда я занималась фитнесом, я проводила много времени на акккаунте – выкладывала фотографии, рассказывала истории и т.д, – говорит она. Я сравнивал себя, свое тело и свой фитнес-путешествие с другими людьми или том, как беспокоился вовлеченности получает содержание.

Вместо того, чтобы полностью удалить запись, Алесссия изменила свой подход.

Она говорит нам : Я определенно трачу на раза это гораздо меньше времени сейчас, публикуюсь один или отгул, два и захочу.

Больше: Здоровье

I realized that I wasn’t interested in influencing or giving training tips, so I just shared recipes and followed my path.

For those who are considering creating an account for their condition, Alessia has some advice.

If you do it, do it for you and only for you. Don’t worry about what other people will think, she says. Eventually, changing the way you train or eat just because you think it has to look a certain way will hurt you more.

And when it comes to surfing online fitness content, whether you’re watching it or consuming it, Beat advises: As January approaches, the constant story of weight loss and weight improvement can often seem overwhelming to those who suffer from it.

We encourage everyone to report malicious content wherever possible, but also to consider going further and instead focus on other positive sources of support, such as Beat.

BEAT

If you think you, a family member or friend has an eating disorder, contact Beat on 0808 801 0677 or [email protected] for information and advice on how best to access appropriate treatment.

Do you have something to tell me?

Please contact us at the following address [email protected]

MORE: The hidden costs of coronavirus in the treatment of eating disorders

MORE: How to motivate yourself during a fitness course.

MORE: The blockage exacerbates patients’ dermatillomania and makes them feel an unavoidable limitation in the choice of their skin.

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