One of my clients, a very large sports drink company, has indirectly nudged me into taking a look at the state of what I drink, and ea, on a daily basis. As well, it’s opened my eyes to what we all eat and drink. The offshoot of this has been that I have been paying a lot of attention to the health and fitness social space.
With that being said, in my opinion, here are the best social networks for health and fitness that I’ve found. The criteria being user interface, strong usage and interaction, fresh content, results driven design, strong call to action, incorporation and usage of multiple digital properties and a solid scalable platform.
I’ve been preaching about the importance of video for the lazy obese culture that we promote and have become, with that being said, Mypypeline.com realizes that perhaps the best way to be effective is to have a video site devoted to health and fitness, though the name is odd.
Yoga is hot, no pun intended and getting hotter. The Yoga Today website is clean, actually has a business model in place, incorporates video, which is key, has established a community which makes sense given the passion of this niche and still has lot of FREE content. This site rocks.
Check out some of the great content on The Fit Blog which has just as much of a shot to create a loyal and robust audience as do larger more interactive sites
Fitfiend has a nice interface and seems to be a nice little community with a tag line stating, “fit, active, connected”.
Speaking of a great design and and even better premise or call to action, look at FitByFun
I think this next site FoodFit could be one that I actually would use a lot, just given that I’m really trying to eat better. My only complaint is that there’s a huge banner at the the top of the page that diverts the eyes. I’ve cropped it for your benefit.
Onlinedietzone has potential but when you land on the site a video auto starts and the interface is a bit confusing and relies on the user to figure out what’s going on.
One site that has really evolved since I first landed on it was DailyBurn. I love the tag line-Burn Fat, Lose weight, Gain muscle. Pretty much says it all. Easy signup, clean interface and focuses on the community and it’s ability to stress accountability. Huge user base.
One of the important things about fitness, is a support network, i.e. strength in number leads to support, encouragement and common goals. With FitLink, it meets all of those criteria and more. I love the interface here and the site gets a lot of traffic and participation.
Sparkpeople can you say busy?
I like the niche-ness of Extrapounds
I love how clean this interface is at Wellsphere
FitClick‘s Social Fitness tool helps you to design a diet plan and workout, and you can also track your progress. Sort of SOP for a lot of social fitness sites. Tho I have a big problem with the skyscraper and banner ads pimping Jillian Michaels.
I like this next site for a few reasons, not the least being that the it’s about support groups. I have said for quite some time now that eventually social media will become more about specific niche’s than it will be about melting pots and this site Daily Strength is about groups and communities. I know it’s not specific to Health and Fitness, but allow me this free pass.
This next site My Fit Tribe has so much potential but is lacking in someone keeping it updated and current, but I love the design and the premise.
This site from Fitness Magazine might be the coolest. It’s somewhat of a narrow niche, but wow, create your own video workout? Was looking for an iphone app for it though, because what better way to utilize this than to take it to the gym with you? One complaint, page utilization is not good. You’ll see why.
Sometimes we have so much information and content, we feel that we have to give it all to the user. We want to show them how much we have and what we can do, what ends up happening though is that we end up vomiting the information on to the page. That what happened to MapMyRun. Hey remember what the name of your site is? Maybe that’s all you need to do?
This site has all of the social elements it needs to be successful except for one. I’ll let you see if you can guess. But nevertheless, Exercise TV has a clean UI with video, blog, community, Facebook, Twitter and iphone app integration all working towards engaging the user at every touch point. But…Who or what are they missing out on?
One of the fastest growing companies on the Inc 5000 List and also one of the most visited health and fitness sites according to Compete. Lifescript would appear to have it all. Including the tacky ad placement in the top right hand corner. Other than that, I like this site.
What can I say about this last site? Livestrong has a great design and it hits on all the topics and issues that are front and center in people’s minds these days. It engages, challenges, interacts, revolves around community and it is totally wired socially.
In conclusion don’t forget that I said that these were my top 20 based on my criteria. Your criteria might be different and that’s fine. Most importantly is the fact that we, here in the United States, are an obese nation, and the more that we can use the sites to eat better and get in better shape, the better we all will be.