Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.
In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.
recently unveiled a new "posts" feature wherein all community members can share nutrition questions, training ideas, and photos alongside their daily activity.
We know social media can affect your likelihood of sticking to a workout routine, says Jingwen Zhang, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who researches how online social networks affect users' physical activity. "Seeing a feed full of successful runs leads us to believe that not only are our friends active but also that it’s socially encouraged to be more active—and both of these beliefs can have a strong influence on our own behaviors," says Zhang. Social networks that teach us something new (as Strava's posts feature does by letting members share insight and ideas) can also help condition our actions. "If my friend shares an interesting activity, I’m likely to try it out as well,” she explains.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Strava's new update can be a powerful motivational tool but it’s important to follow the right people. While it’s inspiring to follow the world-class athletes, you should also track your real-life running and cycling friends, says Zhang. People compare with and learn best from those who are similar in age, location, and skill level, she adds.