July 28th, 2007
In the last couple of years, social networking sites have risen in Internet popularity faster than any other website type. First came MySpace and more recently, Facebook, which keeps getting a larger and larger community. Literally hundreds of other social networking sites exist. Wikipedia has a good sample of what’s out there. These sites allow users to post items about themselves, keep running commentaries (blogs), hook up with other people, hook up with their people, post pictures, videos and a whole whack of other things.
What’s neat about social networking is that it has the potential to put people in touch with other similar, like minded individuals. It creates a community and sometimes sub-communities and groups, allowing people to share and learn from others. Taking Facebook to a more focused audience, a growing number of social networking sites are targeting specific interests and activities. And fortunately, fitness and social networking seem to go hand in hand.
Below is a list of a bunch of social networking style fitness sites. Some of them are smaller sites that have just started up, while others have been around for a while and have been doing the social networking thing whether they knew it or not. By combining things like nutrition and exercise tracking, personal blogs, goal setting and tracking, groups, photo and video sharing and forum style posting, these sites could be truly useful tools for individuals interested in diet, fitness and health, or who are interested in losing some weight or changing their physique. By taking advantage of what social networking has to offer, the fitness-minded now have some new tools to help track their progress, meet new people and, probably most importantly, help stay motivated.
|BodySpace||A community driven site by Bodybuilding.com. This site has a lot of members, boasting over 87,000 user profiles as of this writing. Good progress tracking. Blogging, photo and video sharing and forums also offered. Has a humungous library of articles on bodybuilding.com|
|Sparkpeople||Another site that has been around for a while. Features personalized pages and blogs, meal plans and recipes. Tools for calculating calories and tracking exercise and weight. A wealth of nutrition and exercise information and articles.|
|traineo||A new site on the block. Offers similar features to the rest – personalized page, goal and diet tracking, community. Also features a unique concept of having “motivators” to help keep you on track.|
|My Fit Tribe||My Fit Tribe calls itslef “an island of fun, fitness and friends”. Although the whole tropical island theme is a little strange, the site has a nice layout and some good articles. Blogs, video workouts, exercises, groups, forums, photo sharing.|
|Wellsphere||Another newer site. Personalization, groups, trainer support, goal tracking, health club listings, event searching.|
|Fitlink||Beyond the usual fare of social networking features, fitlink also has integration with google maps for mapping (and sharing) running routes. Also has a fairly usable “workout generator”. Personalization, goal tracking, groups, photos. Small, but growing community.|
|gimme20||Fitness and progress tracking, workout builder, personalization, blogs, forums and groups. Small, but growing community.|
|Shapefit Fittracker||From the fairly extensive fitness website Shapefit comes FitTracker. With a large existing readership, this fledgling offspring community site is rapidly growing. Has all the usuals – personalization, groups, photos, goal tracking, workout generator, etc. Like BodySpace, has a very large number of articles on its parent site.|