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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.

4/8/2013-Social Media: A Help to Your Health

I for one have feared the technology revolution. From seeing children constantly connected to a screen of a sort, to not knowing how to drive without a satellite directing me, to knowing people's credentials, family tree, and what they ate for breakfast without even meeting's all just a little outrageous to me. Yet, while I live dreading the day face to face conversations are obsolete, I also value the benefit social networking offers. I mean, how else am I going to meet people on the other side of the world?! I can't afford to travel the globe.

Whether a website, blog, app, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter account, people and organizations are connecting online. This makes social media a great source of keeping in touch whether for business or pleasure, and can even serve as a great tool to help manage your health.

One such way is that social media can helps you stay informed on the latest health, nutrition, and exercise information – many health professionals and organizations regularly update their sites with links to articles, videos, and more. By "following" or "liking" pages, you can get new tips and tricks to try. Simply seeing updates also helps keep health goals on the brain. As a bonus, these sites often have contests and sweepstakes for prizes, which further serves to boost motivation. You can even go mobile, with many sites having apps for smartphones.

Another way social media supports healthy efforts is the camaraderie it offers. Research shows that changing one's lifestyle is easier when a person has social support. Hello, has anyone heard of Weight Watchers? That's a prime example. Consider joining online health forums if you haven't already; these are a great way to connect with others in similar situations and compare notes. Many times you can also get in touch with doctors, nurses, dietitians, and other professionals to get questions answered. Another way to use social media to meet health goals is to create a sense of accountability. No one wants to look like a "failure" when people are watching. Update your Facebook status, send out a few tweets, or write a blog entry with your plans for the day – it might not be so easy to plop down on the couch if you know someone will ask about your after-dinner walk.

WARNING: social media is highly addictive. Enjoy its benefits, yet, be careful not to spend too much time online. Keep personal interactions a part of your healthy lifestyle too...workout with others, discuss your struggles and success, and make dinner dates to try healthy recipes.

So, like I said, I have conformed to keep plugged in to the world, along with the masses, I can be found on:

Twitter   @WCILNutriWell

Pinterest WCilExtNW

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