Ten years ago the term social media didn't mean much and it certainly wasn't a term that dominated search engine results like it does today. Globally, social media has risen in popularity and become the must-have for every marketing plan, kinda like what Starbucks is to coffee and java drinkers. Plain and simple, it's on every corner and on the tip of everyone's tongue. Social media has proven to be an incredible way to rally people to take action and join like-minded individuals together who believe in common causes, especially those related to your health.
If you're wondering how social media can be a health motivator or improve someone's health, read on.
1. Smoking Cessation
The power of social media has not been lost on city and state government. They understand that by creating a positive online environment to help people quit smoking can reduce healthcare costs, improve their quality of life and give smokers a fighting chance at kicking the habit for good. For instance, New York City Department of Public Health's Facebook Page, NYC Quits Smoking/I Quit has more than 5,000 fans and Florida Department of Health's Twitter-based program, Qwitter, is not far behind. Studies indicate that web programs nearly double a patient's chances of quitting.
2. Weight Loss
Don't confuse weight loss via social media with any of the spammy 'get thin quick' schemes that so many people are pushing. A true model for weight loss supported by social media like the example seen in SparkPeople.com. SparkPeople.com is a free website that ranks as America's second-largest consumer health website, second to WebMD. The site launched the #1 self-help and weight-loss book earlier this year, The Spark. What makes this social media site so succsfful is that it bring people together who have one thing in common - a strong desire to lose weight, but do it the right way. Let's face it, shedding a couple pounds is always a healthy improvement.
3. Support Groups
Social media is responsible for connecting people who share commonalities together. There are support groups for cancer, epilepsy, addiction and countless others. Using these groups to find others who are facing similar challenges and engaging in conversations with them lets you know that you're not alone and it can inspire you to forge ahead.
4. Fitness and Exercise
What better way to take control of your health than through exercise. Sites like Gimme20 and Traineo offer fitness communities that make exercise fun. Set-up group challenges or find local members and create your own running club, there are many possibilities and benefits to social media fitness sites.