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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Benefiting from social network-outs

Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. This week he discusses how different people are motivated differently to do their workouts. And he suggests a social network that might help you. Look for Weekend Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest

Here's Ron: There is a woman at Golf Digest who used to come to the gym with me semi-frequently. I'd put her through a modified version of my 20-in-20 workout (golfdigest.com/golf/20-in-20-workout), or just show her some of the exercises fitness trainers had taught me over the years. She trained, begrudgingly, for about a month or two and then just stopped coming altogether.
 
Recently, that same woman told me that she's now working out more than ever and doing high-intensity training, plyometrics, intervals, etc. Based on her intensity level when we trained, these are things I never predicted she would ever do. So what got her motivated? Simple. The workout she does now is in a group class.
 
For some, training is best done alone. I'm one of those people, though I'll gladly let someone train with me as long as they can keep up. Others, however, can't get through a workout or a diet unless someone is doing it with them. In her case, the spirit of teamwork, togetherness and even competition is motivating her to get in great shape.
 
This brings me to this week's topic: social websites. This might sound funny because I've been blogging and tweeting fitness tips for a couple of years, but I really hadn't given much thought to how social websites could really help people live healthier.
 
Luckily, Humana has thought it through and come up with a website--HumanaFit.com--and a free smartphone app that allows people to track their workouts and eating habits in a social setting. If you recall, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Humana had partnered with Golf Digest in giving away pedometers to get more golfers to not only walk, but track how much they walk when they play.
 
This website allows you to record your walking rounds and also find out how many calories you burn. But there's so much more to it. It gives you workout tips, suggested trails in your area if you like to run, hike or ride. It helps you learn how to eat better.
 
My favorite feature so far is that it figures out how many calories you can consume each day and then subtracts from that number every time you enter a food or drink that you've had. It has a function that gives the nutrition information on just about any item--including food and drink sold exclusively at restaurants. By entering information on what you've eaten, it tells you whether or not your food intake is balanced and whether or not you're eating more calories than your body can expend in a day.
 
The reason why this website just might work is because, just like Facebook, Twitter or any social website, you can follow others and share information about workouts, what you've eaten, health tips, etc. It also lets you know about fitness clubs and events in your area. It makes you feel like you're part of a community of people who are striving to live healthier. If someone in your group does something good or needs motivation or encouragement, you can help with a simple bulletin message or tweet, etc. It's like an online health club where you get to pick who joins.
 
If you're struggling to eat better, workout more, or walk more when you play golf, you might want to check out HumanaFit.com.
 
Ron Kaspriske
Fitness Editor
Golf Digest

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July 28, 2014

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