Two weekends ago I attended the Fitness & Health Social Media Conference (FitSocial) in Colorado. Now that I’ve shared about the pre-conference hike up Mount Sanitas and my own pre-dawn runs in Boulder, it is time to share some of what I learned at the conference.
(I attended FitSocial on a blogger pass, at a discounted rate in exchange for blogging about the event, but the organizers and sponsors have not had any influence over my posts.)
One of the unique things about the FitSocial conference is that it includes sessions on health/fitness and sessions on social media. I was able to attend three health/fitness sessions and three social media sessions. Here are some of the top tips for fitness blogging that I came away with.
From “Blog Bootcamp: Get Your Blog in Shape in 50 Minutes” with Joshua Hill & Matt LeBeau of Room 214, I learned that when someone reads your blog through Feedly it does not count towards your page views, but when someone reads your blog through Bloglovin, it does. I use Bloglovin to (try to) keep up with other blogs because I like the interface and organization better than Feedly, but it’s interesting to learn about behind-the-scenes differences.
From “SEO for Websites and Blogs with Tim Resnik” from Moz (formerly SEOMoz), I learned that it is important to have a presence on Google+ because Google controls so much of the internet search world and rankings. Now I will have to attend a conference with a session on Google+!
I took a lot of notes during “Social Media in the Fitness World” with Sarah Chambers and Chris Freytag of the American Council on Exercise. They talked about Google+ and some technical aspects of blogging, but also emphasized that a blogger should be useful, grateful, mindful, and responsive in order to build a brand and loyal following.
The fitness/health speakers were associated with the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center at the University of Colorado. (I didn’t realize that they are involved with the “Extreme Weight Loss” television show, but I definitely will be watching even more closely during the new season!)
The first speaker was Dr. Dr. James O. Hill, who was the host for our lovely dinner on the rooftop terrace of the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center on Saturday night. Dr. Hill’s session was called “Obesity, Health, and Physical Fitness,” and drew on themes from his book, State of Slim. He emphasized the health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and the importance of integrating physical activity into our everyday lives. One message I took away from his presentation is that we need to create routines and rituals that integrate movement–like meeting a friend for a walk instead of coffee.
Dr. Denise McGuire’s presentation was called “Knowing Versus Doing: Evidenced-Based Model for Successful Health Behavior Change.” She spoke about the five stages of change (pre-contemplations, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance), and noted that on average it takes 4-5 attempts in the action stage before someone reaches the maintenance stage. (So all those fits and starts are normal–just keep at it!) One message I took away from her presentation is that we need to focus on willingness rather than willpower when trying to make a change. Doesn’t “willingness” sound so much more positive?
Dr. San Millán’s presentation was about the science of athletic performance, fat burning, and maintaining a healthy weight. I liked his reminder that athletic performance depends on a number of factors, only some of which we can control:
- health/injury status
He presented data indicating that perceived level of exertion might be a better way of ensuring that you are exercising in your “fat burning” zone rather than heart rate, because the relationship between fat burning and heart rate varies from person to person. (A sedentary person is going to burn more fat at a lower heart rate than an athletic person, but also will perceive a higher level of exertion at a lower heart rate.)
As you can tell, I enjoyed both the social media sessions and the health/fitness sessions at FitSocial, and came away with a lot of good tips for fitness blogging. I also enjoyed having fitness classes every day–I went on the Mount Sanitas hike on Thursday, enjoyed the YogaFit Vinyassa flow yoga class Friday morning, worked up quite a sweat during the tabata spinning class on Saturday afternoon, and had fun while doing tons of squats and lunges during the Pound fitness class on Sunday morning.
Did you find this post useful?
I would be grateful if you let me know in the comments! 😉