Inspiring on Instagram – My Favourites to Follow

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Instagram and #fitspiration for a while now, and getting featured in The Telegraph yesterday as one of their top inspiring runners on instagram gave me the kick to finally get some thoughts down.

Firstly – I was pretty stoked to be featured. I am really inconsistent with instagram and never have time to take nice photos, so I thought it was pretty cool that I got included. I am by far the smallest blogger on there too, so I thought it was cool that I was still deemed worthy of inclusion. Thanks Jess Salter!

Secondly – some thoughts on instagram in the fitness world. If I am completely honest, I find the world of instagram #fitspiration pretty demoralising and disheartening. So many shiny professional photos, honed abs, perfect dinners, beautiful yoga poses and people who ostensibly live in shiny white houses. I’ve found myself posting on instagram less and less because I just feel like I can’t keep up. My life is terrible in comparison! Obviously each to their own; I know that a lot of people find these images aspirational, rather than demoralising. However, I have decided that enough if enough. I’ve unfollowed the ‘big’ instagram accounts that I used to follow and the ones that only post professional photos (or, even worse, random photos they’ve found on pinterest – why would I care about a nice beach you haven’t even been to…?) so that I’m back to just following people I find inspiring, interesting or funny. If you’re also sick of instagram #fitspiration, I would recommend you do the same.

With this in mind, I thought I’d concoct my own list of accounts to follow on instagram. Let me know if you have any other recommendations!

1. Charlie Watson, aka The Runnerbeans (@therunnerbeans)

I love following Charlie because she works really hard at her running and I find watching her progress really inspiring. She’s currently training for the Chicago marathon and has been really putting in the time with her training. She has set out to improve her running and reading about her sessions makes me want to do the same

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2. Susie Chan (@susie_chan_)

I love following Susie because, not only is she a phenomenal runner, but she absolutely loves running. Her enthusiasm for running (and joy while running) permeate all of her posts and you can’t help but feel her happiness too. Susie is also an amazing runner but really humble about her achievements, which makes her all the more inspiring!

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3. Sarah aka Squatbot (@squatbot)

I love Sarah’s posts because they’re fun. She trains hard, eats well and always seems to have fun doing it. I love the way she is clearly serious about her training but never takes herself too seriously – my kind of girl.

4. Sophie Kay aka Fitology (@fitology_uk)

Sophie is all about body confidence. I love her honesty about her body and her appreciation for its abilities, not just its aesthetics. She’s a personal trainer who practises what she preaches and encourages everyone to love their bodies, which is a message I can definitely get on board with. She’s also called Sophie and everyone knows Sophies are ace.

5. Hot Dudes Reading (@hotdudesreading)

It won’t inspire you to get any fitter but it’s still excellent. No explanation needed. You’re probably already following it.

6. Zoe Meskell aka Miles Fitter (@milesfitter)

Zoe is lovely and is always up to something fun and fitnessy. She always seems to fit things in around her life – I particularly admire her ability to make it to early morning classes, something I fail at nine times out of ten. She has just moved to New York and I am really enjoying following her adventures there.

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7. Volt Women (@voltwomen)

A bunch of amazing ladies from the Bridge the Gap community, Volt Women are always featuring inspiring women from all over the world. I love the way this account tells stories along with the pictures, and I love that they’re always told openly and honestly.

8. Pink Helmet Posse (@pinkhelmetposse)

Little babes skateboarding. These little girls are fearless and awesome and I wish someone had thought of it when I was little. They’re amazing as well as adorable! JUST LOOK AT HER!

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9. Juliet Elliott (@julietelliott)

When I grow up I want to be Juliet. Ex pro-snowboarder and now bike babe extraordinaire, I love following her amazing adventures (from mountain biking to competing in the Red Hook Crit to training in a velodrome). Juliet does everything I am too scared to do and I am in awe of her talent and fearless attitude. She also has rad tats that I wish I could have and a beautiful relationship with her husband.

10. Amanda Bisk (@amandabisk)

The only big account I still follow. Amanda Bisk has an incredible body, but it’s hard earned. I love following Amanda because she is an incredible athlete. She used to compete as a pole vaulter for Australia is now an elite athletics coach, an exercise physiologist and a qualified yoga teacher. She is a ball of energy and is always posting videos with cool ideas for workouts. I feel that she genuinely takes pride in the community she has created and I find her attitude really inspiring.

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Who are your top instagram accounts to follow? What inspires you?

You can follow me on instagram at @sophiechristabel!

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13 Comments

  1. September 9, 2015 / 10:02 am

    Love this! I feel exactly the same about the accounts that just show big shiny white houses and impossibly perfectly arranged food plates (with tiny portions!). Will definitely have a look at some of these accounts though. My favourite runner account is Victoria at @run4prs, Zena at @zenacphillips and Katie&Kate at @thesegirlsdo. All are not only amazingly active and passionate about what they do, but they keep it real and honest too!

    • September 9, 2015 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks – I will check those out too! People who are passionate are so infectious!

  2. September 10, 2015 / 8:13 am

    I feel exactly the same. In fact I now feel the same about blogs too- I probably only follow 3 or so really ‘big’ bloggers, and even they are more trail-based than shiny city runners. I think the only huge glossy blog I follow is Carly Rowena.

    Okay, so IG. My favourites are Susie Chan (as you said LOVES running, beautiful trail photos); fitcetera (great approach to health and fitness, fab arm muscles); @mranger90, @lenkainstvanova, @runningdutchie, @runcandicerun, and @northbound_driftwood – all for pictures of mountains and awesome ultra running; and @challengesophie for the same thing on a more dramatic level.

    • September 28, 2015 / 6:37 pm

      These are all ace choices too! Thanks for sharing x

  3. September 10, 2015 / 11:20 am

    My instagram feed consists almost entirely of running and fitness accounts, with the exception of a few puppy ones 😛 I love following @majocalgary and I always browse the tag #ultradog for dogs who go running with their humans!

    • September 28, 2015 / 6:36 pm

      #ultradogs sounds too cute! Definitely going to look it up now!

  4. September 12, 2015 / 11:27 am

    Love this! I agree with you about the professional photo instagram accounts, some days I find them aspirational, other days I find them unrealistic. These accounts you’ve listed are great, I already follow a lot of them and the ones I don’t, well, I do now! Thanks for these recommendations 🙂

    C x
    gymbagsandgladrags.com

    • September 28, 2015 / 6:38 pm

      Thanks for commenting 🙂 x

  5. September 19, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Cool list, thanks for sharing! I follow about half of these women but the other half I will follow shortly 🙂

    As for Instagram in general, I don’t follow accounts where photos are professionally taken or they’re very posed.

    • September 28, 2015 / 6:37 pm

      No, I tend to avoid accounts like that too – prefer seeing what people are up to rather than just looking at pretty pictures!

  6. October 13, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    Love this and I totally agree with you (and all the other comments) regarding the big Instagram accounts or tags. Instagram is one of my favourite places for inspiration and so when I started getting into running I looked for people and tags to follow, but all of them seemed to be churning out polished content without any personal stories or public engagement.
    It’s US-based but I love @fleshmanflyer, a pro athlete renowned for keeping it real. She’s sponsored by @oiselle and coaches @runlittlewing and they all have lots of runspiration.

    Thanks for giving me some new people to follow!

  7. October 13, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    Love this and I totally agree with you (and all the other comments) regarding the big Instagram accounts or tags. Instagram is one of my favourite places for inspiration and so when I started getting into running I looked for people and tags to follow, but all of them seemed to be churning out polished content without any personal stories or public engagement.
    It’s US-based but I love @fleshmanflyer, a pro athlete renowned for keeping it real. She’s sponsored by @oiselle and coaches @runlittlewing and they all have lots of runspiration.

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