I am a moderate exerciser, but like many folks, I could always be better. Over the past few months, in the midst of my usual holiday/cold weather slump, I’ve been receiving information and inspiration from an unlikely place—Facebook.

More specifically, I’ve been getting help from a Facebook friend. I’m lucky enough to have a friend, Cary Edwards, who is a former personal trainer and amateur body builder. In addition to being easy on the eyes, Cary is, obviously, passionate about fitness, and he is eager to share his knowledge and experience with his friends.

If any of you are as addicted to Facebook as I am, you probably remember that a few months ago, some people were playing a Q&A game: Someone would e-mail you a question that you were supposed to answer in your status bar. Cary offered to answer fitness and nutrition questions on his page, and he was quickly inundated with queries. After answering several questions, he decided to create a Facebook group where he and his friends could post articles, mention local fitness events, and ask questions to our hearts’ content.

In some of his recent posts, Cary has mentioned interesting dietary facts, listed calorie counts, and written about the importance of drinking water. He posted a YouTube video of an equipment-free workout in response to a question from a member who doesn’t belong to a gym. He also encourages all of us to contribute: My gym recently hosted a free open house, and I was sure to mention that. People share things they find to be a struggle and also strategies that have proven to be helpful for them, and Cary has encouraged us to post before and after pictures. The general tone is informal and very encouraging.

All in all, I have found the group to be one more source of mindfulness and encouragement in an area where none of us can have too much. Just when I’m starting to lag, I get a note from Cary reminding me “it’s only 7 weeks ’til warm weather—get moving!” I think it’s an excellent use of social media, and one Facebook application that should make us more active rather than less.


*Check out Cooking Light's Facebook page for daily Get Moving tips and share how social networks help keep you on track.