Watching the action from Rio this summer has been incredible. Through some amazing feats of fitness we've had world records broken and home-grown talent exceed all of our (and maybe their own) expectations. The athletes we've seen compete have trained day in, day out for years and most have access to some of the globe's most-skilled equipment, trainers, nutritionists and medical teams to help them reach their goals.
But there are also those whose fitness achievements are unsung, and those who have used fitness to overcome adversity, whether it's their own or other people's. Follow just one or all of these Instagram accounts and you'll immediately be inspired to get up out of your seat and work up a sweat.
Jessamyn is an American yoga teacher from North Carolina who's used the art of yoga to completely transform her life. A self-professed 'fat femme', Jessamyn has used yoga to ease her depression stemming from years of hatred for her body. Jessamyn's aim is to spread the word that yoga is for everyone, and her yoga classes focus on how the body feels when practicing and not how the body looks. Her yogic teachings try to help participants break down the negative mental barriers that they may suffer from in day-to-day life.
Along with teaching yoga, Jessamyn is also a writer for many US and global publications, including Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Sunday Times to name just a few. Her work focuses on breaking the taboo around mental health and promotes positive body image for both women and men.
Jessamyn was also featured in our 'Best yogis of Instagram' feature too. Follow Jessamyn on @mynameisjessamyn.
It is so hard to find good athletic wear if you're a curvy person. Good isn't synonymous with "available"- it means fashion forward AND able to withstand the extreme work of holding in all of our curvy goodness without any breast explosions, legging roll downs, or ripped inner thigh seams. Most plus size apparel companies err on the side of full coverage and lose the style which makes me so sad- fat girls are sexy too, y'all. WE DESERVE BRALETTES AND SHORT SHORTS TOO, Y'ALL. I am so excited to be able to get you guys some @fullbeautystyle gift cards so three of you have the opportunity to buy a new outfit for your awesome active lifestyle. The winners are @melazing_butterfly, @forestgardengnome, & jennaschue88- email me for info on how to collect your $50 gift card! If you still want to win a @fullbeautystyle outfit and gym bag, enter the #FBSPORTSWEEPS- To enter, take a photo of yourself at your most powerful moment and tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #BEPOWERFULL & #FBSPORTSWEEPS in your caption OR upload: http://bit.ly/BEPOWERFULL. One winner will be chosen each Wednesday! Even if you didn't win, @fullbeautystyle's athletic wear pieces are extremely cost friendly and have pretty good sizing options- most items head up to a size 32! #BePowerfull Top+Leggings- @fullbeautystyle Photo by @zoelitaker
A photo posted by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:33pm PDT
Race With Reason
Set up by a husband whose wife and mother of his four children is a long sufferer of Crohn's disease, Race With Reason, through sponsors and social follows, donates money to a huge range of charities. As Race With Reason states, it "believe in the fight against Crohn's and colitis, but also in the fight against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer's, obesity, depression, and many more."
By following their Instagram page Race With Reason acquires sponsored donations to distribute to charities, but also by posting photos of runs, races or charity sporting events including the tag @runwithreason, the hashtag #racewithreason, and the name of the cause you wish to help, Race With Reason will donate money to an organisation supporting it.
Race With Reason has over 18,000 followers and their website lists charity races taking place all over the world, aiming to encourage readers to sign up to a run near them. With both stunning and moving photos of people across the globe racing for an array of reasons, do your bit, get your running shoes out and get going! You can follow Race With Reason on @racewithreason.
You can follow Race With Reason on @racewithreason.
A photo posted by Race With Reason (@racewithreason) on Aug 15, 2016 at 6:28am PDT
25-year-old Krystal was an upcoming weight lifting competitor when she was involved in a serious car accident, in which she lost her right arm. Not perturbed by her accident, Krystal was determined to continue her training and competing, despite what her critics were telling her. Once her wounds from the accident had healed, Krystal got back to weight lifting, and has since broken numerous personal bests and has competed in the Working Wounded Games.
Krystal says that exercise saved her life: “It helped me find the super woman that I had inside me all along. I have competed in a number of CrossFit competitions, beat my personal records countless times, inspired people around the world and put myself in a chapter of my life that I never want to end."
Krystal's Instagram account is a mixture of inspirational videos of her working out and smashing her personal records, but also of her daily life as an amputee. By following Krystal's journey you'll soon realise that there's really no excuse to not challenge yourself and reach your goals, whether they're fitness-related or not.
You can follow Krystal on @krystalcantu.
A photo posted by Krystal Cantu (@krystalcantu) on Apr 4, 2016 at 12:19pm PDT