How Tech and Fitness Drives Innovative Choices Toward Health

SXSW panelists talk the ins and outs of digital health

Panelists talk fitness at "Food, Faith & Fitness: The Digital Holy Trinity” at SXSW (Image: Mike Street)

Outside of the usual apps that help you plan your day, figure out your budget, or allow you to take a break—and play Angry Birds, there is a burgeoning interest  in creating mobile and web applications that are focused on fitness and wellness. Panelists Andia Winslow, founder of The Fit Cycle; Dionne Ross, wellness and fitness trainer; personal trainers Massiel Aries and Adonis Hill, and moderator and founder of Fit Men Cook Kevin Alexander Curry, explored the ins and outs of digital health at Saturday’s “Food, Faith & Fitness: The Digital Holy Trinity.”

Way beyond the P90X or Insanity movement, people are following fitness leaders on various social media platforms:  Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and specialty training sites for self image motivation, to name a few.  With online training applications generating millions of dollars— given their mobile design and connections to physical tools like Nike Fuelband, Garmin heart rate monitors, and FitBit activity devices—it’s no surprise that social networking platforms are fueling this growth with its 24/7 nature.

“Fitness is a booming industry online,” said Winslow. “People are following people because they like the way they look. It can be dangerous. I never compromise my professionalism for social media ‘likes’.”

It’s no surprise, though, that these images and health programs are challenged within the fitness industry. “Safety is a big concern in the online space, within the health community”, said Ross.  Monetizing fitness within the social media space can be done, but the real considerations should be based on the genuine need to help and guide people toward making wellness and health apart of their regular priorities.

Church communities dedicated to improving the health of their congregations are leveraging social media to be more active. They are pushing out sermons and using hashtags to make fitness accessible to all. Winslow mentioned some of the ways she has utilized social media for her business.  “I’ve leveraged YouTube in order to generate money via YouTube partnerships and to build a database. We were in Forbes a few weeks ago and they called us the smartest and sexiest fitness videos.”

If you are truly passionate about educating the masses and becoming the next fitness guru, these tips should prove more that useful.

Keep in mind that the Web has large scalability and media recognition can come from all over looking beyond a Facebook page and a couple of posts on Tumblr. And take the plunge to take your love of wellness and fitness to the next level.

Follow BlackEnterprise.com’s coverage of 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) at blackenterprise.com/technology.

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