10 Fitness Social Media Messages to Ignore

I know why social media does it. It’s not unlike the “sex sells” marketing strategy. People are drawn to sex appeal and the beauty ideal. So, when fitness brands are trying to sell their services, they tend to promote six packs and half-naked bodies. (I’ve even been guilty of it, if you count posting pictures of yourself in a sports bra). Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle. The mass media is a large influencer for perpetuating the beauty ideal, fitness brands bombard the public with body image pressures, and we are left striving for a body that may not ever happen. Check out my blog post on the beauty ideal for more information about how media can be harmful.

The below messages convey that we must move to be skinny or muscular and, if we don’t, we are lazy and should feel guilty. There’s also a message that we exercise to eat food, (as opposed to fueling our body to exercise) which can be a vicious cycle of punishing yourself when you indulge on less healthy foods.

Here’s 10 social media messages to ignore to avoid feeling less than:

  1. “Are you beach body ready?”
  2. “Sore or sorry, you pick”
  3. “Excuses don’t burn calories”
  4. “6 Pack Abs coming soon”
  5. “You can have results or excuses, not both”
  6. “No pain, no gain”
  7. “Sweat is fat crying”
  8. “Calorie Killer Workout”
  9. “I’ve got 99 problems and they all involve carbs”
  10. “Exercise for extra fries”

Believe or not, I actually filtered out some even more ridiculous messaging…

Healthy Fitness Messages

Instead, the messages below convey that movement is a necessity to a healthy life, both physically and mentally. Equally important is the message that food fuels our body, rather than the need to exercise to burn off our food.


  1. “You’re only 1 workout away from a good mood.”
  2. “Healthy is an outfit that looks different on every body.”
  3. “Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself.”
  4. “Movement is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.”
  5. “Eat to nourish your body”
  6. “Sweat, smile and repeat”
  7. “Strive for progress, not perfection.”
  8. “I go to the gym for me.”
  9. “Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.”
  10. “How to get a bikini body: Put a bikini on your body.”

It’s really tough being a fitness consumer. But, when we start to think critically about what we are consuming, we will begin to differentiate between helpful and unhelpful “fitspo.”

If you are interested in a fitness and wellness program that intentionally promotes positive body image, sign-up for the Raleigh Group Fitness e-mail list.

Fitness Professionals Responsibility

To all my fitness pros, we have a great responsibility to positively influence our communities. Our seemingly innocent posts could have an unintended negative consequence for our followers. Predictors of fitness social media consumption include attributes such as female gender, aged 15-17 years old, having a self-reported eating disorder, being a victim of bullying, and misusing detox/laxative teas or diet pills. All consumers are vulnerable, but it seems like our viewers are especially in need of a positive influence.

I certainly understand that images and videos are powerful and can’t be avoided in our profession. However, we can avoid negative beauty ideal messages and encourage movement for a healthy lifestyle.

With good intentions,