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You’ve probably heard the buzz–Instagram is removing the visible number of likes from our photos (cue gasp). Some people are trying to boycott the app, furious about the new change. But despite the mixed reviews, we’re excited about the update’s potential to improve our overall wellness while using the app! Here’s a breakdown of how it will positively affect us.
While we can still see our own like-counts, none of our followers will be able to. When we scroll through Instagram, we’ll see posts that say liked by one user we follow “and others.” When clicked, we can see a short list with some of the post’s likers, but not all of them.
The update doesn’t remove likes altogether, only the public visibility of them. So, if you still want to evaluate your selfie, you totally can (this just takes the pressure off a little).
Studies have shown that social media usage is linked to depression, and likes are associated with peer influence in adolescents. Essentially, many people use social media as a platform for quantifying their self-worth and interests based on the approval of others. As much as we might hate to admit it, likes matter. We use them as a means of comparing ourselves, determining what’s cool or trendy, and understanding who is considered the most popular and likable.
"As a brand, we want to be less interested in how many likes a post gets and more focused on connecting with our followers and being a healthy place to spend time online."
- Devin Dilday, MINDBODY Social Media Team Lead
In 2017, Instagram was ranked as the social media app that most negatively affects our mental health. Removing likes from photos puts us one step closer to decreasing social media’s power over our happiness. Although it won’t solve our FOMO, it might help us worry a little less about what we share. Let’s face it: many of us have deleted a post we were initially excited about, just because it didn’t get enough love. Why should we let these numbers limit how we express our uniqueness, self-confidence, and creativity?
Instagram’s removal of likes could change how we use the platform altogether. Rather than trying to quantify people, objects, and activities, we will be able to focus on the actual content. On their Twitter profile, Instagram explained, “We want your followers to focus more on what you share, not on how many likes your post gets.” This shift will bring us back to Instagram’s mission, “bringing you closer to the people and things you love.”
"It's a positive update for everyone!," says Devin Dilday, MINDBODY Social Media Team Lead. "As a brand, we want to be less interested in how many likes a post gets and more focused on connecting with our followers and being a healthy place to spend time online."
Without likes to distract us, we can use Instagram to discover methods for personal wellness, connecting with inspiring/relatable people, and sharing successes (and failures) in a healthy, productive way. As a wellness brand, @mindbody seeks to inspire others to lead healthier, happier lifestyles, prioritizing their wellness in whatever way works best for them—and we are all for this new update and what it could mean for our mental health.
Looking to add some positivity to your feed? Follow @mindbody for a daily dose of all things wellness!
Have you ever watched that oh-so-sweaty person leave their workout machine without wiping it down? Yuck. The Clorox wipes, paper towels, bottles of sanitizing spray are at your gym (and studio) for a reason— because no one wants to share bacteria. But now that our living quarters, even that tiny Upper Westside studio, have become our own personal fitness paradise, we’ve got one question: Is your at-home workout equipment *really* clean?
Research has found that bacteria can live on some gym equipment (weights, mats, you name it) for three days. That’s right, 72 full hours. And your yoga mat or those dumbbells you just got delivered from Amazon so you can slay that new virtual class you just booked on Mindbody are susceptible to the same stat. While it may seem silly to clean your own “stuff” because you’re the only one using it, think about where your hands have been before you pick up those weights. Perhaps your apartment complex’s keypad? Bacteria knows no boundaries.
From your resistance bands to your brand spanking new (and yes, most likely backordered) kettlebell, the gear you’re using at home could use a good wash, rinse, repeat—especially if you’re sharing it with someone you’re stuck at home with (like your S/O or stir-crazy housemate). Even if you’re the queen of clean (like me... just ask my co-worker, Natalie), here are six tips on how to keep your gear germ-free and looking good. Because we know all those classes you’ve been streaming are making you a fitness guru.
You not only want to clean the dirt off your workout equipment, you want to sanitize it. Clean gets the dirt, sanitizing takes care of the bad stuff (aka bacteria). Before you start getting crazy with the bleach or a DIY deodorizer, you’ll want to take into account the surface you are about to wipe down. Something like your treadmill, Peleton bike, resistance bands or bench press bench can be damaged by certain chemicals and at-home cleaners. If you’re worried about your equipment, opt for disinfectant wipes especially made for gym equipment, like all-natural Wipex. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to keep some hand sanitizer next to your workout station.
Clorox wipes have become the hottest household item of 2020—and we are guessing so has virtual yoga. If you’re not a huge fan of using chemicals you can’t pronounce and throw-away wipes on equipment like your Manduka mat, there are all-natural antibacterial cleaning options that will make Mother Earth proud. Who doesn’t want to make their cleaning routine a little more green? Companies like cleancult (we called them out in our 20/20 trends), offer effective, all-natural products delivered right to your door in recycled milk cartons —and they pair perfectly with your go-to disinfectants. Cleancult’s versatile All-Purpose Cleaner is my fave for wiping down workout gear, especially yoga mats (and almost everything in my home). The Saponified Coconut Oil acts as the “heavy lifter” without harsh chemicals. After working out, spray your surface(s), wait for a couple of seconds and wipe away with a reusable towel (or an old gym t-shirt you use as a rag).
While knowing what surface you’re cleaning is key, some of your equipment might benefit from DIY solutions. Before you roll up your sleeves and become the Harry Potter of cleaning solutions, invest in a glass spray bottle (or reuse an old plastic one). Oh, and break out the essential oils because they are about to boost your at-home fitness (and cleaning) routine. Most of the DIY cleaning “recipes” you find on Pinterest include ingredients you have at home—like vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. My must-use DIY cleaner is vinegar-based (with 10-12 drops of essential oils). It’s powerful yet natural enough that I feel more confident laying facedown in Savasana with my oh-so-sensitive skin after that yoga class in NYC I just streamed from San Diego.
Now that cleaning your at-home workout gear is part of your routine (hint, hint), letting your equipment dry is key. If you’re cleaning your more expensive exercise machine with some cleaning solutions that have a “smell” or you want it to dry faster, trying turning on a fan or crack open the window to keep the air circulating. If you’re just cleaned a more porous surface (like your yoga mat) hang it outside to dry—over a railing, a chair, bike rack... you get the gist. While fresh air is good, UV rays are not. Certain materials that make workout gear can breakdown in the sun, and you don’t want to get burned before your next workout sesh.
While cleaning your equipment might seem like a no-brainer, it can be easy to ignore the surrounding area where you work out. The title of this section tells you what you need to know—don’t forget to clean and sanitize the floor where you exercise. Just think of it this way, while you’re killing it in your virtual fitness class, your hard work is being noticed, by the floor that is, as your sweat beads go flying. And last time I checked; vacuuming doesn’t do the trick for dried sweat. After class, wipe down the area around your workout space with cleaning products that are conducive to the floor. Working out on carpet? Consider switching areas or look into sanitizing and deodorizing spray for material surfaces.
The most important part of cleaning and sanitizing your workout equipment is sticking to a schedule. If you’re forgetful (like me), keep your supplies adjacent to the area where you enjoy working out. And do it on the daily. Seeing the supplies will be a reminder to clean and sanitize before (and after) you get your sweat on—because who doesn’t love starting out their class on a cleanly note? Mother would be proud! PS: don’t forget to wash your hands!
Do you have any at-home cleaning and sanitizing tips you swear by when it comes to your workout routine? From DIY to cult-favorite products, we want to know! Tag @mindbody on Instagram to let us know! Stay clean, safe and sanitized our friends!