The rise of health and fitness applications is cause for celebration – and conversation. For there is a major opportunity to marry the best of these two worlds, of a comprehensive service and an international medium, so we can have a meaningful discussion – on social media – about everything from exercise to nutrition, where users can encourage, help and inspire one another.
This dialogue is necessary because, one, there are several mobile applications that individuals use to track – and improve – their health; and secondly, we are in the midst of a national health crisis, an epidemic that threatens to shorten people’s lives, increase the cost of medical care, and weaken men and women with a variety of chronic conditions, from high blood pressure to Type 2 Diabetes to morbid obesity.
We can fix this situation – we can certainly slow if not stop its advance – if we socialize how (and why) we use these applications. We need, in other words, an ongoing exchange of ideas about the very challenges we seek to overcome.
I write of what I know, since I work with the team responsible for MevoLife, an all-inclusive mobile application that features information about food and nutrition, exercise, levels of physical activity and access to health-related communities.
I also write about the social power of uniting people on behalf of a matter that is as righteous as it is necessary, as unifying as it is urgent; as just as it is helpful, maximizing the influence of social media to confront an epidemic that is emotionally devastating, individually destructive and financially debilitating.
Consider, too, how a single application can be a catalyst for change. Imagine the global community that would develop – that can develop – if we support a program of this kind
That scenario is the very reason social media exists, for it to be a destination for men and women of all walks of life, from fitness-conscious adults to health-minded parents to individuals and couples who want to achieve their respective physical goals – and maintain their newly improved bodies.
And, when an application emulates the best qualities of social media, when it fosters community among users and extends that opportunity to the Web in general, the rewards are incalculably rich. Those benefits inform and inspire, encouraging users to take advantage of the technology that is their potential gateway to better health and wellness.
This situation is achievable because, if we learn nothing else about MevoLife and if we discover nothing more about exercise and nutrition, if we just stay within the parameters of this subject, then the outcome will still be extremely positive.
That fact alone is reason for optimism, since social media can revolutionize one of the most pressing issues of political debate, economic discussion and cultural debate. It can mobilize us to socialize – on- and offline – for a campaign greater than ourselves.
That fact summons us to leverage all that social media can do, and all we must do, for our fellow citizens – at home and abroad.