Fitstagram: How Instagram Motivates Health & Wellness


Depending on who you follow on Instagram, you may see some trending items. Personally, I find a lot of #foodie, #foodporn, and #kittensofinstagram tags – pretty self-explanatory. Then I’ll run into tags such as #wod, #fitmom, #iifym – not sure what some of these mean? I wasn’t either, until I found a whole community of health and wellness inspiration accounts on Instagram.

“Fitstagram” accounts motivate users the way that no one else can: these accounts feature real life people who desire to inspire others to get fit and healthy. Many share their own personal health journeys, from anorexia to morbid obesity to depression. As they share their stories and progress, it is easy to see how many become inspired and eventually become brand advocates for Instagram celebrities.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of what a “Fitstagram” account could look like:



Jasmine Schmalhaus, aka jazzythings, is a figure competitor who motivates fans through images of healthy food. From documenting her progress in “clean eating” on Instagram, Jazzy added over 130,000 followers and now has three e-cookbooks and speaks at various workshops across the U.S. Her Instagram advocates use the tag #jazzythings when recreating her recipes, and often indicate how easy and delicious it is to change up nutrition habits.

In addition to sharing new recipes or workouts on her account, Jazzy is also an ambassador for various health brands, including Vitacost and Cavegirl Confections.

Brittany Dawn Fitness

Brittany Dawn is a PNBA Bikini Pro and health coach, who often finds new clients through her Instagram account. In addition to posting healthy meal ideas, Brittany shares her personal progress and background. Using the tags #EatingDisorderRecovery, #ANA, and #EDSoldier, Brittany reveals her past struggle with anorexia and hopes to inspire others to take a similar recovery route.

For many who suffer through eating disorders or other health issues, treatment or speaking with a doctor is not always first priority. Instagram accounts like Brittany’s offer some extra motivation for those with weight or eating issues to seek treatment, or at least start taking preventative measures to live a healthier lifestyle.

Mr. Shut Up and Train

Mr. Shut Up and Train is an Atlanta-based training company run by Rahman Grayson. In addition to posting pictures of personal workouts, Rahman uses his clients’ workouts, inspirational quotations, and before/after shots to inspire others. Followers can also participate in his free fitness challenge, or opt for personal online coaching if they are not in the Atlanta area. Rahman also uses a very personal touch on his Instagram account, adding pictures of his wife, son, and newborn – a guaranteed draw for many on Instagram.

It is easy to see how these Instagram accounts can motivate followers to act on their fitness and health goals, providing inspiration that no brand can. Do you think there is possibility for similar accounts to expand into bigger marketing opportunities for health and wellness? Let us know in the comments.