25 Social Media Sites to Help You Live Longer and Healthier

by Kyle Tuttle

Girl jogging
Photo by mikebaird

Social media websites, like Twitter and Facebook, encourage social interaction online; rather than being mere readers of information, Internet users are becoming more and more participative in the exchange. Instead of creating an environment where information goes one way (site to user), social media encourages a dialogue between the user and the site, as well as between the user and his peers.

This culture of participative exchange has found its way into the health and fitness sector. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself recognizes the profound effect that social media has had on healthcare. Concerned individuals now have quick, convenient access to a nearly-infinite amount of information on health and fitness.

Social media also allows people to get the proverbial second opinion - along with 3rd, 4th, 5th, and even 38th opinions if he so desires. If you're looking for information on how to improve your health and overall quality of life, you'll definitely benefit from consulting a health-centered social media website. Here are the 25 best websites out there:

General Health News and Information

  1. PeoplesMD -- Billed as the first-ever niche social media site made specifically for health and wellness, PeoplesMD allows you to bookmark your favourite healthcare websites and articles into Stacks. You can then organize the Stacks into smaller categories before sharing the information with the rest of the community. With topics ranging from Allergies to Weight Management and everything in between, you're bound to find useful information, as well as share the interesting tidbits you've found yourself.

  2. Health Ranker -- Another one of the most popular health and wellness social media sites, Health Ranker invites its community to "share the health" by submitting news and information articles from a wide variety of sources, such as news websites, professional medical websites, and even health-related blogs. With its mission to be the number one social health news site, you can be assured that the information being shared is both fresh and relevant.

  3. Organized Wisdom -- One of PC Magazine's Top Websites of 2008, Organized Wisdom allows users to browse through WisdomCards - custom search result pages built around popular health-related search terms. Finding the information you want is as simple as following a few links. What's more, Organized Wisdom also provides a chance for users to earn money while they share their information and create helpful new WisdomCards.

  4. Revolution Health -- Revolution Health aims to provide its members up-to-date health tips, news and information through articles and on-site forum discussions. Health features are updated daily for your enjoyment. You can also assess your health with the many tools provided on the site and manage yours and your family's health information. If you have any concerns, or would like to impart any personal knowledge on health, you can share it all on your own personal care page.

Fitness, Exercise, and Weight Loss

  1. introPLAY -- There's nothing quite as motivating as a little friendly competition. Upon registration (which is free, by the way), you can either join or start an introLEAGUE with anyone in the introPLAY community. introPLAY will help you keep track of your workouts in 90 different sports and activities, and then score you based on the information. Points not only earn you recognition from the rest of your colleagues, but special trophies as well. Feel like sharing with the rest of the introPLAYERS? Keep them updated via your own Workout Blog and Injury Report. Contact them directly via the website's Talk feature. A Workout Ticker will even let you see your friends' updates as they happen, so you can keep up and keep ahead of the competition.

  2. Run Fat Boy -- While the site's name may have been a personal motivational tool for its founder, Run Fat Boy is one of the friendliest websites to people of all shapes and sizes looking to improve their physical fitness. Designed specifically to make reasonable, personalized workout regimens for beginners, the website will construct a plan based on your current level of fitness. The site allows you to keep track of your exercise, eating, and other fitness notes while you share them with fellow site members.

  3. FitFiend -- Don't let the name fool you - there's nothing fiendish about this site. All that's waiting for you beyond the link above is a friendly community of fitness professionals and fitness enthusiasts looking to connect and share advice with each other. If the extremely helpful articles, workouts and blogs aren't enough to win you over, forums add a more personal touch to the sharing experience. A calendar of events helps community members connect away from the computer screen as well. If you want the site expanded to your other forms of social media, feel free to add them on Facebook and Twitter, too!

  4. Gimme20 -- Gimme20.com is a site that gives you a little bit of everything - recommended workout routines, fitness tracking, blogs, and a friendly community. You can share your progress and workout routines with other members of the community. What's more, you can send the results via mobile phone! Spend some time on Gimme20.com, and you'll find a dynamic community filled with tips on everything from dieting to injury rehabilitation.

  5. WalkingSpree -- Looking for a community that prefers low-impact exercises? Then WalkingSpree may be just the site for you! With its emphasis on walking, you can share blogs and journals of your love for simple aerobic exercise with other like-minded individuals. Members can avail of a specialized pedometer that links with the website for easier sharing.

  6. We Endure -- If stamina is more your style, then We Endure is perfect for you. Its focus on endurance sports, such as running, swimming, and cycling, the site is host to a very focused community. You'll be able to track your activity and achievements on the site, and share your experiences with other members. It's a great way to meet new training buddies, either through online communication or in one of the many events listed on the site.

  7. PeerTrainer -- Weight loss is an endeavour that works best if you have a support group with you. PeerTrainer allows you to keep a journal of your goals, progress, meals, and exercise routines and share them with a live group of fellow weight-losers. The community also offers daily motivational tips to keep you going on your quest. With support both from workout buddies and from the site itself, you're happily going to stick to your exercise regimen.

  8. iStats -- One of the best ways to stay motivated is to keep track of your progress on a regular basis. That way, you'll be able to see what and how well you're doing in your fitness regimen. iStat is a social media site that allows you to log all your physical activity, from short runs to full-on soccer games. Based on your fitness goals, you can create a recommended workout for your personal use. The site then allows you to team up with other members so you can share exercises and tips with each other, as well as compare results to keep each other motivated.

  9. My Fit Tribe -- Workouts don't necessarily have to feel like work. My Fit Tribe is an online community that establishes itself as an "Island of Fun, Fitness and Friends". Not only does the site provide forums and groups in which you can interact with fitness-conscious peers, but there are articles on the many different ways you can achieve fitness in a fun way. With exercise tips from famous fitness experts (even stars of TV's American Gladiators) and a section on Celebrity Gossip, My Fit Tribe adds that all important lifestyle aspect to a fitness community.

  10. Traineo -- Combining sophisticated analysis with a grassroots motivational system, Traineo is one of the most popular fitness social media sites around. Simply sign up, and then enter your current and ideal weights. The site then calculates your daily calorie requirements needed to achieve your goals. Logging your weight on a daily basis will help you keep track of your progress through a chart. You can then share your progress and exercise routine with any of the site's members, whose numbers count over an impressive 200,000. Through their support, tips, and motivation, you're bound to stay right on track to achieve your ideal weight.

  11. FitLink -- FitLink is an online community that specializes in helping members find exercise partners both online and in real life. The site provides many online tools for your workout purposes - fitness articles, body mass index calculators, running route mappers, and exercise recommendations, to name a few. You can then plan activities and keep a workout journal to share with other members. Members can choose to connect in real life by joining in on each others' activities. If you'd rather have a professional helping you out, FitLink also helps you find personal trainers in your area, making the site a one-stop solution to most of your fitness needs.

  12. DailyBurn -- DailyBurn knows how important it is for people to stay motivated in their workout regimens, and so they provide it in spades. The site allows you to connect with Motivators who keep you going, congratulating you when you're meeting your goals and helping you out when you're having a little trouble. You can join or create groups of like-minded people on just about anything - weight loss, basketball, running, or whatever else you can think of - to keep your enthusiasm high. If that's not enough, the site also has fitness challenges you can compete in on your quest for physical fitness. It's like having a home version of The Biggest Loser!

  13. Limeade -- Looking for a more holistic approach to improving your well-being? Try Limeade, which helps you grade yourself on 28 different aspects of life correlated to well-being and general health. Based on your results, you'll get personalized goals, training programs, and advice from professional fitness experts. The site also tracks your progress in meeting your goals and sets up a support system with friends and colleagues signed up with Limeade.

Support Groups and Forums

  1. MDJunction -- MDJunction is an online community of support groups for just about any health-related concern, physical or otherwise. Support groups cover a wide variety of specific topics, such as obesity, Lyme disease, agoraphobia, and even the emotional pain of a death in the family. Each support group comes with its own forum, articles and diaries to help member connect and learn to lean on each other in their times of need. The Find a Doctor feature of the website also helps you find professional help for your own personal health problems.

  2. DailyStrength -- Like MDJunction, DailyStrength hosts support groups for almost any health concern you can possibly need. There are over 500 groups providing support for topics like AIDS, fibromyalgia, infertility, loneliness, and anything else that affects the quality of your life. You can share your thoughts and concerns via journals, photos, and forum discussions. You can even communicate with other members in real time through the site's Online Chat feature. What's more, the site provides helpful links to expert advice and treatments, giving you just about everything you need to improve your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.

  3. Real Mental Health -- Touted as the world's first social networking site with an emphasis on mental health and wellness, Real Mental Health allows members to interact and share their knowledge and experience with mental health issues. Symptoms, management, and treatments are all discussed in a friendly, welcoming environment. You can share your own experiences through a blog, phone-ins, and even videos. With the support being provided by thousands of members, mental health problems become a lot easier to get by.

  4. Twit2Fit -- What started out as a Twitter experiment has now blossomed into its own website. Update members with your own fitness goals, success, and failures, and you'll get supportive messages in return. Any sort of self-improvement - physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual - will get encouragement from peers around the world. Whatever your goal is, you can be sure that a Twit2Fit Tweeter will be cheering you on!


  1. American Well -- American Well specializes in providing home care solutions over the Internet. Founded and operated by licensed medical professionals, the site strives to give you online care whenever and wherever you need it. With text chat, telephone, and video chat features, the entire experience feels like a long-distance house call rather than a research run. Simply ask for help, and you'll get it.

  2. Vitals -- Unsure about to which doctor you should go? Pay Vitals a visit. This online community allows people like you to discuss and rate doctors based on their personal experiences. With over 720,000 doctors evaluated nationwide, the site is an excellent source of recommendations. If you think you've got a great doctor on your hands, feel free to help out and rate him positively, so that other patients can benefit from your experience.

  3. PatientsLikeMe -- PatientsLikeMe is a patient-empowering online community that encourages participative learning and support. Members can create shared health profiles, which will then connect them with fellow patients. As members connect and share with one another, they learn about symptoms, treatments, and other concerns through each others' first-hand experiences. If you're looking for help with much more personal touch, this is the site for you.

  4. Mamaherb -- Thanks to today's green revolution, more and more people are looking for more natural ways to improve their health. Mamaherb helps bring those people together by building a community based on the sharing of information on herbal remedies for health conditions. Along with many helpful articles on various natural herbs and their health benefits, the site also allows its community members to blog about their experiences, recommendations, and recipes for treatment.

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{ 3 comment… read it below or add one }

Jeff F. January 12th, 2010
Great list for those looking to be healthier and social at the same time.
Sarah January 26th, 2010
I personally love MapMyRun/MapMyRide!
Julie February 26th, 2010
I love www.myfitnesspal.com to keep track of what I eat and the calories I burn in exercise!

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