1 in every 5 minutes spent online in Australia is spent social networking. When it comes to health, social interactions can make sure you keep in touch, ensure that you have someone to talk to, as well as keep you motivated. You can build relationships, watch instructional and informative videos and share your goals and achievements.
How can we use social media to live a healthier life?
Tools - "There is an app for that!" Whatever your health goal you will find that there is probably an online, mobile and desktop tool to help you. For example, SunSmart Victoria recently launched a SunSmart iPhone app - this lets you know when you need sun protection in Victoria.
Goal setting - It is tricky to stick to your goals, such as running every morning, cutting back on wine and reducing the amount of fat and sugar in your diet. You can use social media to announce and share goals via blog platforms, Twitter, or by using reminder service such as Remember the Milk.
Number crunching - There is an inner statistician within all of us. By tracking your progress towards your goal you can see the trends in your behaviour and how this relates to the figures. Applications like My Weight Loss Coach, on iPhone and Nintendo DS, is a great way to track your progress on the go.
Join a group - Virtual groups are another way of meeting up with likeminded people. Whether it's joining a group on Facebook, a forum, joining web chats on topics of interest, or following organisations or hashtags on Twitter, for example Twit2Fit, you'll find people with similar goals that you can share your experiences with.
Research - The Internet is awash with information. Using search or by going through reputable websites and sources of information, you can learn about healthy habits and techniques. For example, you can get healthy recipe and exercise tips on YouTube. I'd suggest looking at a reliable source of information, such as the Livestrong or even one of the Cancer Council branded YouTube channels.
Share your insights - Be the creator of social content! Share your experiences by blogging, micro-blogging, or via social network status updates. This can be great inspiration for other people wanting to makes changes or to learn about health issues. By creating an online community you can learn and share useful tips. Want to start a blog?
We're getting social-able...
Here at Cut your cancer risk HQ we are on Facebook, we use the Cancer Council Victoria Twitter account: CancerVic and send out a monthly email newsletter to subscribers. If you are reading this, then you'll already know we've got a blog. From our perspective it's all about getting the message out there about the seven ways you can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Because cancer isn't very likeable we're hoping that you'll join our networks to help prevent it.
We'd like to hear from you - what tools would you find helpful? What do you use already that you find effective?
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