Instagram Fitness: Let's Work It Out!

Photo credit: Tone It Up

Photo credit: Tone It Up

Curator Intern Blog Series

By Aleximie Holleaux, PR Intern

The fitness trend has been blowing up on Instagram for months and the real question is: How did they manage to make burpees so popular?

On a personal level, I have always been eager to be in shape, but found working out to be a hassle and I didn’t want to give up my usual delicious food for healthy eating. Well, I’m happy to say I now look forward to my Monday squats and Wednesday crunches, and it’s all because of Instagram. The platform has proven to be extremely helpful in jumpstarting my wellness journey, and also the lifestyle transformations of millions of other users.  What makes fitness gurus and personal trainers such as Kayla Itsines and Tone It Up’s Karena & Katrina so successful on Instagram? Here are two simple explanations:

1) The message has changed.  The word “fitness” used to carry negative connotations, and meant that success equaled losing weight and fixing bad eating habits. Today, fitness trainers are encouraging positive body image and loving yourself as you are. Success is no longer measured by numbers on a scale, but by how you feel on the inside. Fitness and mindfulness now go hand-in-hand. Here is an example of a popular fitness instructor who “wants you to see a photo of her ‘belly rolls’” to show you how you should approach your fitness journey: by empowering your body not punishing it.

2) It’s all about community. Today’s world is very media-based and influencers are making an impact across the board, from daily lifestyle preferences to Coachella fashion and the Fyre Festival fiasco. Fitness Instagram-ers understand the power of social media and are using it for the better, creating communities in which people support one another in their journey to be healthier. By joining these groups, people have shown to stay on target with their fitness goals because they have more support and are held more accountable for their actions. Kayla Itsines, who started the BBG empire and Sweat with Kayla Program, started the #bbgcommunity, which now includes millions of people across the world.

The way social media fitness is growing is providing PR specialists with a prime example of how users, customers and possibly their clients' target audience engage with certain social trends, and how building a community around a positive message inspires conversations among people all around the world. Simply put, this example of how Instagram fitness influencers have taken the world by storm can correlate to the PR industry and how brands will build and engage with their audiences: build a community that provides support, empowerment and positive thinking.

This blog was written at a part of Curator’s Intern Blog Series. The author, Aleximie Holleaux, is a senior at the University of Washington studying communication. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.