The Fitness Stars of Instagram

Need a little Monday motivation? Follow these accounts and you’ll want to HIIT the gym in no time.

Fitness is ultimately about well-being, sure. But let’s be honest, it can also, at times be a little bit about appearances. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that many PTs would choose to use the visual medium of Instagram to spread awareness of their brands and become online sensations. Many fitness gurus have literally made their careers on Instagram, commanding huge followings with whom they share their top tips for healthier way of life. What starts as a follow on Instagram can develop into a book, plan or video purchase, so these trainers have got to have strong social game.

Here’s the lowdown on the personal trainers whose Instagram’s will provide you with all the fitspiration you’ll ever need, from handy work out videos to healthy recipe tutorials.

  1. Kayla Itsineskayla

Kayla is an Australian personal trainer whose plan – The Bikini Body Guide- is followed by over ten million women across the world. The app ‘Sweat with Kayla’ provides both exercises and meal plans over an initial twelve-week period, during which you take body shots to track your progress. Much of Kayla’s success has been down to her online presence; she has 5 million insta followers and posts useful tips and videos, very handy for those who don’t want to commit to buying the programme! The ‘BBG’ online community is a network of women – who also refer to themselves as ‘Kayla’s Army’- following their plan who use Instagram to document their progress and support one another. A big part of the programme and of Itsines’s Instagram are these  progress shots, which are shared throughout the community. Also to be expected, lots of pictures of Kayla’s two huskies and the odd motivational quote!

2. Joe Wicksjoe wicks

Joe Wicks a.k.a the Body Coach was a personal trainer before utilizing Instagram in 2014 to make his fifteen second #leanin15 recipe videos. Wick’s business is now based around online nutrition and work out plans, and his recent recipe book ‘Lean in 15’ became the fastest selling debut cookbook in the UK. His fun and cheeky videos often feature midget trees (ie broccoli) and lots of Wick’s naked chest – which only serves to make them even more watchable! As well his recipes and HIIT tutorials, Wicks often shares his client’s monthly progress shots with his 1.1million Insta followers. Seeing how far people have come – especially when his diet includes CHEESE – is pretty good motivation if you’re feeling a little despondent about getting back on that healthy grind.

3. Skinny Bitch Collective/ Russel BatemanSBC

Russel Batemen, founder of the Skinny Bitch Collective, trains the likes of Millie Macintosh and Suki Waterhouse. His classes may be invitation only, but that hasn’t stopped gym bunnies from far and wide – over 96k of them- using his insta as a source of inspiration. Expect to see music video worthy clips of fierce, beautiful, strong women kicking ass. And the occasional sarcy quote to keep the mood light eg. ‘the human body is 60% water so we’re basically just cucumbers with anxiety’. Unlike other fitness gurus, you won’t find any of Bateman’s selfies in his feed, there’s simply enough hot fit girl inspo to make you want to cry your way to the gym instead.

4. Zanna van Dijk zana

Fitness blogger Zanna van Dijk shares her ‘balanced approach to food, fitness and life’ with over 103k Instagram followers. From videos of her work outs (together with detailed instructions) to healthy food inspo pics, Zanna’s body positive approach will make you want to #eatclean, if only so you can look as good as she does! *Warning: Instagram stalking here will induce some serious work out gear envy!*

5. Clean Eating Alice

Alice Liveing is a PT and author of ‘The Body Bible’ with 311k Insta followers to her name. Beyond sharing pictures of her incredibly healthy meals (spoiler:alice expect to see LOTS of eggs), Alice shows off her enviable abs and taught arms in numerous gym selfies. If those pictures aren’t fitspiration enough, you can also try out one of her workouts, which she demonstrates in a video and details in the caption. Alice – who’s part of the LDN muscle team- advocates an attitude to food and fitness that is about overhauling your entire attitude to health. If you want to change a lifetime of bad habits but don’t know where to start, just keeping an eye on her page will help you along the way!

6. Tyrone Brennand

Tyrone Brennand may only have a comparatively modest 26.7k followers, but the videos he posts on Insta are a sure fire way to get you motivated and ready to sweat. Founder of ‘Be tyronethe Fittest’ (based in Chelsea, London), Tyrone is also a Prince’s Trust ambassador. His feed is largely made up of handy work out videos that double up as tutorials, which are great if you need a little guidance when trying to self-motivate. Brennand made head lines recently when he recently ran the marathon on behalf of astronaut Tim Peake, and although relatively new to the industry, is definitely one to watch.

All photos were sourced from Instagram.

The Real Cost of Cosmetics

We live in a time where demonstrating concern for our environment has become downright necessary. We’ve welcomed the move to charge for plastic bags, we advocate the use of technologies like solar panels, almost every Uber you jump into is likely to be a Prius and sustainability has become a buzzword.

And yet, millions of women are innocently using products that contain non-biodegradable plastic that harm the environment on a daily basis. Used primarily as exfoliants, tiny pieces of plastic called microbeads are in a multitude of everyday products from face scrub to toothpaste. These microbeads go down the drain, but are too small to be filtered out during the water treatment process, and so end up polluting our oceans and poisoning the fish we eat.

This worrying impact upon marine life is now being flagged by a number of prominent charities, including Greenpeace, and the international campaign ‘Beat The Microbead’ has been gaining momentum since Obama banned them in December 2015.

Although people are starting to take notice, a multitude of products that contain this unnecessary plastic remain widely available, from numerous ‘Visibly Clear’ Neutrogena products to three different Elizabeth Arden products including their ‘Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser’.

The microbead is so ubiquitous that even brands that we associate with top quality, natural ingredients like Sisley use them; their ‘Gentle Facial Buffing Cream’ appears on the ‘Beat The Microbead’ list, as does Clinique’s ‘Sparkle Skin’ body scrub. Other body scrubs that contain this incriminating ingredient include L’Occitane’s ‘En Provence Almond Shower Scrub’ and Dermalogica’s ‘Exfoliating Body Scrub’ (whatever happened to a good old fashioned bit of sand!?). The list goes on and on, even products such as toothpaste, like Arm & Hammer’s ‘Truly Radiant Whitening & Enamel Strengthening Paste’, are known to contain plastic beads.

So what is being done, we might ask? Ethical campaigners and beauty experts alike are calling upon David Cameron to follow in the US and Canada’s footsteps by banning the use of microbeads. Over 226,000 people have already signed the petition run by Greenpeace, which you can find and add your name to by simply searching ‘microbead petition’.

The ‘Beat The Microbead’ campaign has the support of 82 NGOs from 35 countries, and their website states that 239 brands from 59 different manufacturers have already promised to remove microbeads from their products. Companies like Boots, Avon and The Body Shop have also pledged not to use microbeads in their products, however they may still stock items containing them.

Until policy changes, it is crucial not to underestimate the power of the consumer. Ultimately, you can help fight the microbead purely by being aware of them and the products they are likely to be used in.

If in doubt, check the lists provided on The ‘Beat The Microbead’ website. Simply not buying something speaks volumes, and when sales of certain products plummet, big business has to sit up and take notice. At the Oscars, Leo called upon us all to be a part of the change, and awareness about small stuff like this is a great place to start.

DIY Scrubs: Natural Alternatives You’ll Find in Your Kitchen
• Sugar
• Oatmeal
• Sea Salt
• Baking Soda

Featured Image from The New Scientist