Motivation plays an essential role in exercising. Without it, working out just becomes…working.
If you don’t have a partner to push you through your lifting routines — “One more set, bro, you got this!” — consider these eight social networks instead. They’re designed to keep track of your workouts, count your calories and, above all, push you to go above and beyond your wellness goals. Happiness guaranteed.
Are there any good ones that we forgot to include? Tell us which websites help you stay in shape.
Fitocracy caters to the competitive side that everyone has. The site grants you points for each workout activity you track, then awards you with badges and props for every milestone, similar to Foursquare. You can also sign up for challenges with friends or join community chat groups with members across the network.
A free app is available to download on both iOS and Android devices, too.
Extra Pounds is a free weight loss network with an extensive archive of diet blogs, fitness articles, body logs and support groups. What’s most impressive is the Food Diary feature, where you can plan and log your meals into a spreadsheet, then determine how much you need to exercise to burn off the calories.
Again, a network with a little competition thrown into the mix. Daily Mile is a Twitter-like website where you can track, then publicly share, your workout accomplishments. Whether you run five miles, bike around the block or finish a sick set of abdominal workouts, you can post about it through your personal Facebook account and on Daily Mile’s homepage feed — a perfect way to motivate (and annoy) your friends at the same time.
Another free weight loss network, Traineo lets you log and track your calorie-burning goals. One unique perk is that it lets you choose up to four “motivators” — other members of Traineo who receive email updates about your progress — who, in turn, send you weekly feedback and encouragement.
You can also read through relevant articles or take part in one of the site’s frequent discussion forums.
The MBodyment Fitness Network is a bare-bones collection of fitness-related videos. If you register, you can also join one of the many groups, including the P90Xers and Exercise Procrastinators, and connect with personal trainers from a variety of gyms.
The website was a little glitchy at time of writing, but a few page refreshes seemed to bring things back to normal.
Spark People is similar in style to Weight Watchers in that it offers a variety of nutrition-based articles and videos. You can also connect with its panel of experts, dubbed “Spark Coaches,” on a range of topics from yoga to exercising to cooking.
With Map My Fitness, much like Daily Mile, you can map your running routes and track your progress through a mobile app. When you’re finished, you can share it with your friends through Facebook. The site’s food-logging feature also lets you keep track of what you eat, broken down by fat and calories, and share recipes with other members.
My Yoga Online is perfect for all expertise levels. It really has it all: tutorials for poses, meditation and pilates; a community forum where members post videos and essays; and even a music page where users can upload their favorite yoga jams. You can even brush up on your history with the “About Yoga” section, which has videos, articles and member posts that highlight everything you need to know about the age-old practice.
Image via iStockphoto, peepo