Winter... no... Summer is coming.
Aka beach season, aka socks and sandals... okay just sandals season, aka oh sssugar I should probably start using that gym membership!
Don’t fret! The internet is here to help get you in shape and ready for that summer sun. Whether it’s tracking your steps, tracking your macros, or tracking your friends on Strava (kinda creepy, but we get you), the path to a healthier you starts online!
How to find motivation.
Time to get PUMPED!
Getting started can sometimes feel overwhelming. Lucky for you, the internet has tons of content that can be used as a source of inspiration.
- Feeling lazy? You can literally YouTube “motivational videos” and get thousands of results.
- Not sure where to start? Try searching workout videos online and you may just come across a fitness professional/influencer that inspires you.
- Need something to get rolling? Listen to an inspirational story or podcast.
Nowadays, getting motivated has never been more accessible. Perhaps you just need a song to fire you up? Thanks to the internet, music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal can be used to quickly pull up that upbeat song you need to get you going. Enjoy some of our oxio staff picks while you read the rest of this article!
Self-motivation is one of the main things that distinguishes high-achieving professionals from everyone else.1 The internet has brought about an age of not only information, but accessibility, and it’s time to take advantage of it!
BUT, something key to remember is that motivation is temporary. It comes and goes as quickly as a celebrity marriage.
A habit and discipline is what will ultimately help you succeed. Motivation will simply help get you started.
Choose your exercise.
Now that you’re all fired up, it’s time to get moving.
The internet offers a plethora of fitness apps, videos, and resources to help get you going.
How many steps a day?
The best first step is to track your steps… no pun intended. Imagine for a moment if we didn’t have the internet and had to count and write down ALL of the steps we take each day? Yeah, nty. Lucky for us, the internet has our back.
Tracking your steps is as easy as keeping your phone in your pocket, and letting an app like iPhone's Apple Health or SweatCoin do all the work for you (the walking part not included). If you want to take this a step (I swear I’m not doing this on purpose) further, you can use a device like a Fitbit or smartwatch to accurately track your steps without having to keep your phone on you - as if we don’t ever have our phones on us.
10,000 steps a day. Yes, I know, we’ve all heard this countless times. But prominent neurology studies have shown that hitting this stepping stone (last one I promise) is linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.2 Plus, having your fitbit start buzzing and displaying fireworks when you hit that 10k is pretty damn cool. Euphoric feeling unlocked.
If you’re not quite at 10,000 steps a day just yet, that’s ok! Try starting with just 3-5 thousand steps a day until you can comfortably move up to that 10k. Be realistic with yourself and your goals. A little progress is still progress, and is a step (ok I lied this is the last one) in the right direction.
What about cardio?
Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more strenuous than just walking.
Are you an avid runner, biker, or anything else in between? Or maybe considering it? Well, the internet is here to enhance that experience… or ruin friendships based on how ultra competitive you and your friend groups are.
I joined oxio during the pandemic era - remember, when everything was closed and toilet paper became a luxury? Since nearly everything was closed, I decided to take up trail biking as a new form of exercise. I found out oxio had a group on the popular app Strava, where you can track all of your cardio workouts. With this app you can see stats such as kilometres completed, time, and pace. BUT, it also took these stats and applied them to a leaderboard.
I started tracking my bike rides and watched my weekly kilometres get larger and larger. I went from barely doing 2 km and nearly collapsing, to 30 km+ without the need to stop. I thought I was doing pretty well. Then I looked at the leaderboard. Let’s just say, some of my oxio associates LOVE to run, with some of them averaging over 100 km+ each week (yeah… I had no chance). I quickly learned I was up against literal marathon competitors.
Pretty soon after that, some more of my friends joined the app, and what started as a fun way of tracking mileage turned into a summer of fierce competition - but still in good fun! Needless to say I did not win on the leaderboards, but had a blast doing cardio (for once). This in turn ended up making us each push that little bit extra each time to move up on the leaderboard.
Now, there’s no need to have the internet turn your cardio workouts into a ruthless and fierce competition like I did - that’s just me. But, using apps like Strava tied in with the accountability of having a leaderboard can ensure you get those workouts done. And while you’re climbing that leaderboard, you can enjoy the many health benefits of cardio such as supporting your heart health, enhanced brain function, and increased mood and energy.3 See you at the finish line!
Is weight training for you?
If steps or cardio isn’t your thing, maybe you’re someone who enjoys lifting heavy things up, and then putting them back down. Aka weight training.
The benefits of weight or resistance training are extensive:
- Developing lean muscle tissue to keep metabolism up
- Increased strength and bone density
- Reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Preventing obesity
Not to mention the mental side of it and improving your self esteem.4 Body image and how the internet has affected this, is an important and sensitive subject that deserves its own article. But even just getting a workout done when you didn’t feel like it but did it anyway, is such a big mentally rewarding experience. The sense of accomplishment gained when completing a weight training workout is truly like nothing else.
With the power of the internet, getting started with working out has never been easier. With apps like Strong, Nike Training Club, or Lululemon Studio, you can find easy to follow workouts that are best suited for your needs. These include instructional videos, photos, and customizable workout plans that can be used to track progress and measure gains.
There’s no more need to play the guessing game at the gym on where to start, and then just heading over to the treadmill for an hour. Using online tools for helping out with your workouts can make the gym a lot less intimidating… or make sure you actually start using that home gym you put together in the pandemic!
As a former personal trainer of 6 years - which I’m sure you could’ve guessed when I died doing 2 km on a bike - I personally cannot stress how important nutrition is for getting in shape.
“You are what you eat.”
“You cannot outrun a bad diet.”
“Abs are made in the kitchen.”
Franky, all of these ring true. However, staying on top of your nutrition has never been… yes you guessed it… easier thanks to our good friend the internet.
Gone are the days of writing down everything we eat and doing all the math of macros ourselves.
- For those who are unsure what macros are, they refer to macronutrients, which consist of protein, fats, and carbohydrates that make up all food.5
Using an app like MyFitnessPal, or Chronometer, allows you to easily track what you put into your body. If this wasn’t simple enough, these apps also include a barcode scanner for scanning food items! Information about what you put into your body, and how it actually affects your body is so widespread now that you probably hear debates about it all the time. “Don’t consume dairy.” “Only eat raw meat and liver,” (ew). “Choose organic.” Thankfully, podcasts and documentaries now provide insightful looks by certified professionals on different diets and foods, so that myths can be debunked, and more credible information can be found.
Getting in shape for this summer doesn’t need to be a stressful ordeal. In fact, it can be pretty simple and fun by using resources that we can discover and share on the internet. Finding motivation, taking a few thousand steps, going for a bike ride, lifting some weights, and finishing with a protein shake has never been more accessible or easier to track.
Your path to success starts online! Now go, it’s crunch time (literally) and the beach awaits!
Special thanks to the oxio team for contributing to our kick ass playlist. Thank you to Danilo for the feedback and adaptation. Thank you to Savannah for the feedback and shoutouts. And thank you David for approving my illustrations and helping me get better at thumbnails!