Health Female Adda
1 year ago
5 Fitness Pros Explain the Problems with Fitspiration

Fitspo is supposed to be inspirational (the word is a combo of "fitness" and "inspiration," after all). But while it might inspire people to work out more and eat healthy foods, it's not always in an uplifting way. In fact, exposure to fitspiration seems to result in lower levels of body satisfaction, a worse mood, and lower self-esteem, according to a new study published in the journal Body Image.

Researchers say the women in the study compared themselves with those in the images—and apparently felt bad about how they thought they measured up.

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In light of these results, we went to some of the top fitness pros to see if they've seen this kind of problem with fitspiration—and what they'd change about it if they could. Here's what they had to say:

"Whether subtly or overtly, the message behind fitspiration is: 'Look at how great I look, and if you choose to commit yourself to exercise, you'll look this good, too.'"

"This message misses the mark because it puts the emphasis on appearance instead of health—and being healthy is about so much more than what you look like." —Jennifer Blake, certified personal trainer and coach at The Movement Minneapolis

"Fitspiration to me is a dangerous thing."

"What it promotes on the outside may seem healthy and something to strive for, but having been far too thin and way too concerned about it at one point, I can say for myself that in real life I was not nearly as healthy as I appeared in photos. When you're living from a place of health internally, it just naturally shows externally—but that's hard to capture in a photo for Instagram." —yoga teacher Alexandria Crow

"I do believe fitspiration can be positive if it shows the process of getting healthy and actionable information instead of just the final result."

"However, very often, fitspiration becomes 'thinspiration'—the phenomenon that stresses aesthetics over general health and wellness. The line is sometimes very blurry between the two, but the distinction is important to keep in mind." —Joe Holder, certified personal trainer and women's fitness specialist

"In my experience, imagery can either inspire a woman or cause her to feel inadequate, all depending on the type and tone of the 'fitspiration' image."

"I absolutely love positive, realistic images and quotes that support good attitudes about a fit lifestyle. On the other hand, there are certain images that are on the edge of racy and overly revealing; possibly even overtly sexual. In my experience, these tend to make women self-conscious." —Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., author of Lift to Get Lean

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"Often, the more damaging messages come from women who are not only not fitness professionals—or even fit for that matter—but often unhealthy in body and mind themselves."

"However, because they have built a social platform, they have a voice that impact their followers and often don't respect the power in that. I have teenage nieces—and peers alike—who truly think that anyone on YouTube or social media with enough of a following is an expert or someone worth listening to. Thus, if a girl who is far too thin is encouraging other women to look like that, these girls are taking them at their word and in the end only feel worse about themselves if they don't end up achieving this fabricated goal made up by someone who happens to have a lot of followers and not often an actual expertise on what being healthy even means." —Aly Teich, founder of The Sweat Life

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