Ted Vickey by Ted Vickey
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For health and fitness professionals, social networks can be a great way to keep in touch with clients between training sessions. While some professionals have been able to leverage large social networks like Facebook and Twitter into their training, there are some niche networks that might be worth your attention. A health and fitness professional on the right social network can watch clients’ progress, keep them motivated and provide encouragement—sometimes even during an exercise session, sending messages through audio app features.

Social networks can even help health and fitness professionals attract new clients, if the right networking features are offered. While there are a lot of social networks that you can choose from, you should look for where your clients will be networking, and go there.

Here are three social networks for health and fitness professionals that stand out. 

Endomondo

The Endomondo app is compatible with smartphones and iOS devices. It uses real-time GPS tracking to log how far users have run, walked, biked, hiked, climbed, skied, kayaked—you get the idea. An audio coach feature provides feedback and encouragement during workouts. Endomondo also offers all the features of a training diary and data analysis.

Endomondo’s social fitness network allows friends to follow each other’s workouts in real time—and even to make encouraging comments (or taunt each other to try harder). The app reads comments aloud, so users don’t have to stop moving to get the message (a useful feature for health and fitness pros connected with clients on Endomondo).

Users can also follow routes that friends have created, and issue invites or challenges to friends.

Endomondo is free, but the pro version offers more features, including customized training plans, for $3.99 per month, or $29.99 per year. The Endomondo Sports Tracker PRO app is $4.99. 

Strava

Strava is a free fitness social network and app for runners and cyclists. Users log runs and rides, and import data from different fitness devices and wearables. Strava’s app is particularly well designed and user-friendly, and while Strava doesn’t publish their membership numbers, their cycling community has been called the largest in the world.

Users are as active on the Strava social fitness network as they are in their lives. They compare their activity to other users, and to friend groups. Users can also break their workouts into segments, and see their performance in each segment. This popular feature allows Strava users to try out each other’s segments, and see if they can beat one another’s times. This part can get competitive, and inspires users to push themselves further. 

Traineo

Traineo’s free fitness tracking and motivation website is easy to use, and offers a great library of fitness related articles written by experts, many of whom are members of the Traineo community. (Traineo is up front in asking fitness professionals to work with them.) While there are a lot of articles, they’re geared toward people trying to learn about health and fitness, not exercise addicts, so don’t expect a lot of depth.

Users can choose four “motivators”—other members, friends or trainers—to receive updates about the user’s progress toward his or her goals.

Traineo does have an activity and diet tracker, but these features seem more like unfinished afterthoughts than fully functional tools. Traineo also doesn’t have a great mobile option yet.

Other worthy mentions:

  • RunKeeper — RunKeeper is designed for runners, walkers and hikers. It has excellent features and functionality, but it doesn’t have a built-in community. Instead, it uses existing social media (like Facebook and Twitter) to connect users.
  • DailyBurn — DailyBurn offers many of the same features as Traineo (plus a few more), and is mobile-friendly to boot. However, DailyBurn’s community seems much less interactive than Traineo’s.

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