As the world was plunged into the unpredictability of pandemic life and we battled to comprehend the unfolding events, we took to platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat to connect and share. We celebrated and commiserated, often finding ourselves forging new relationships and fostering existing ones through DMs, re-posts and comments.
With around 3.5 billion users worldwide and growth of around 9% annually, there’s no denying that social media is here to stay. While there have been a growing number of studies conducted in recent years, there is still a lack of definitive evidence on the impact social media use has on individuals over time. One theory highlighted that the way we choose to engage online is the factor that primarily determines how positive or negative it can be. Avoiding both passive scrolling and comparing yourself to others while engaging in more real-time, person-to-person interaction could be the key to healthy social media behaviors.
And while stepping away from your smartphone periodically can be an important component of maintaining your mental health, there is no shortage of uplifting, educational and entertaining accounts to follow.
We asked some of the Animal Flow Team for their recommendations on Instagram accounts that add to their lives positively in the areas of health, fitness, wellness, mindset, and entertainment.
“One of my favourite accounts, Seattle Science Foundation, belongs to a not-for-profit organisation that brings together medical science, technology and education. If you love seeing the inner workings of the human body, from a surgical and dissection perspective, then you’ll likely enjoy this account as much as I do.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, though, as the content features both cadavers and live surgeries. It’s fascinating!”
“Dr Rhonda Patrick’s Found My Fitness is one of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram. She delivers content covering the latest health information on everything from brain function and mental health to nutrition, preventative medicine and more.
I like that her content is well researched and delivered intelligently, and to be honest, I have a huge intellectual crush on her!”
“I must say I’m trying not to use IG too much lately as it’s consuming so much of my time. I’ve muted a lot of what is on the feed but one account that I just adore is Celeste Barber. She’s a comedian and actress from Australia who copies many of the popular celebrities. I just love her; she always fills me with so much inspiration and joy.”
“When I’m not practicing Animal Flow you’ll find me training with kettlebells, so one of my favourite IG profiles is focused on that. I really like Jeff Sokol’s account Sokolstrong. His attitude towards training and programming is amazing, but so is his mindset.
The content he shares shows that the way he connects with the world is as important as the way he connects with the kettlebell. He has really helped to motivate me when I’ve had some low points; he’s definitely worth checking out.”
“Why do I love Jameela? She relentlessly questions herself and her beliefs, and asks us to do the same. She’s hilarious, and incredibly generous with her own vulnerability and learning.
Whenever I come across her work, I get super excited about the potential that the movement space has to become a more inclusive and equitable place for all of us.”
“Charlie has an amazing story. He was working in the music industry but realized that, despite his success, he wasn’t happy. He walked away, lost more than 130 pounds, reversed a brain tumor and became a Nike athlete.
Now he drives around the country in the “dream bus” meeting everyday people and helping make their dreams come true.
He is a shining example of what happens when you devote your life to giving.
When you give with all of your being, you are rewarded with more than you could ever hope for.”
“When choosing who to follow on social media, I look for accounts that have a great ability to share quality information. I really like sports trainer Alex Whitehair’s account because he shares very creative methods based on athletic performance. He brings an unconventional yet science-based approach which I definitely appreciate.”
“These guys are evidence-based and do a great job of helping coaches translate the science into practice. Their posts are short and sweet, thought provoking and no-nonsense. They don’t post for likes and they don’t make things up. They know their audience (primarily strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers) and always provide useful educational information aimed at improving performance.”
“Over the past few months I’ve unfollowed any accounts that were negatively impacting my mental health; any accounts that made me feel the need to diet or obsess over my weight are now gone.
Latoya Shauntay Snell is one that I’ve continued to follow. She’s a multi-sport athlete, ultrarunner, chef and speaker, but the thing I appreciate the most is her positivity, confidence, and the way she inspires women of all sizes to move without food restrictions or punishment. For women like me, who are struggling with their love of fitness while recovering from eating disorders and diet culture, having someone like Latoya to follow helps me feel represented and inspired.”
“Andrew Huberman is a Professor of Neurobiology and Opthamology at Stanford School of Medicine, and one of the IG accounts I follow most closely. I really love how he’s making great quality science accessible to everyone.
He covers everything related to neuroscience such as how our brains work to drive behavior, health and our perceptions of the world.
A lot of his posts are short videos that summarize the key points from his long-form podcasts on the same subjects. And I’ve found that his exercise and nutrition science content really helps me connect the dots for myself and my clients.”
In addition to all of the great accounts listed above, be sure to follow @animalflowofficial on Instagram. We love to see your practice and often share posts from the Animal Flow community. Be sure to tag us in your stories and posts, and use the hashtag #iinviteyoutomove