Tag Archives: health

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Student Spotlight: Hannah Bostdorff

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As a fourth-year student of the University of Georgia, 21 year-old Hannah Bostdorff is nearing graduation as a Consumer Journalism major. When she was only a freshman in May of 2016, Hannah began to use Instagram as a tool for accountability for her own health. Initially, she began to post her breakfast and lunch during her summer job. Hannah then realized that her platform, Hannah Harvesting Health, would help her to eat in a way that would make her feel better overall and could be used as a creative outlet to share fun and unique recipes.

Hannah’s page was not always at the level that it is today. It took some time to gain the following and confidence that her account now has. By consistently posting appealing content and engaging with others’ pages, Hannah was able to gain 10 thousand followers by April 2018 and currently has an impressive 30.5 thousand followers.  While it’s fun and exciting to run her account, Hannah noted that it is definitely tricky at times to keep up with while also being a full-time student. She knows that it is essential to allocate her time and resources to both school and her passion, which is of course her account, @hannahharvestinghealth.

Growing up Hannah always had a passion for cooking and baking, but she started navigating toward healthy options in high school in order to fuel her workouts and soccer practices. Later on through Instagram, Hannah really began to learn about nutrition and all of the amazing food and products out there. The knowledge she has gained through Instagram and various nutrition classes here at UGA has really solidified Hannah’s love for a healthy lifestyle and sparked her continuous desire to keep learning about food and how it impacts our bodies.

As most people have found out the hard way, it’s not easy to build healthy habits and it’s even harder to stick to them. Hannah’s advice to build healthy habits and turn those habits into a lifestyle is to “Just start somewhere!” While many people want to dive into a healthy lifestyle, they don’t take the right action. Hannah recommends not getting caught up in trying to follow someone’s exact lifestyle choices and instead focusing on what comes easily and is enjoyable for you. “You have to find what works for YOU and progress in that daily. In the end, finding what works best for you is going to be extremely beneficial to your health and well-being.”

As a food blogger, Hannah has created and recreated countless recipes and meals, but her go-to is oatmeal because on top of being tasty, it is also loaded with nutrients including healthy fats and proteins and it helps to keep you full. Because of Hannah’s social media success, she receives a lot of snack products like bars that she eats daily, but she also enjoys making homemade snacks such as energy bites and smoothies, which can all be found on her page.

One thing that Hannah has learned from people with similar accounts is that it’s important to just be yourself! As Hannah emphasized, “We each have something unique to bring to the table and that’s exactly what we should bring.” She also pointed out that when you embrace who you are can provide a lot of encouragement to yourself and others.

Aside from all of the delicious knowledge about food and health that Hannah has gained throughout this process, she has also gotten a lot of feedback from her followers. Many people have reached out to her not only about their love of a recipe, but also to let her know that they relate to her words of encouragement. Knowing that she is able to inspire people and make a difference through her posts is what keeps Hannah going and what makes the account mean so much to her. If you scroll through Hannah’s page, @hannahharvestinghealth, you can easily take notice of her incorporation of her faith into her platform. Hannah attested, “2 Corinthians 1:4 says “He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others” and I firmly believe that! [God] puts people in our lives for a reason and I just continually pray that I can be that comfort to someone who isn’t exactly walking a smooth road.” As you can see, Hannah is not afraid to be true to herself and to share that version of herself with anyone who views or follows her page.

As Hannah’s college chapter comes to a close, she plans to utilize both her major and her platform to pursue a food marketing career. Through her account she has been able to network with an amazing variety of people and brands, of which she is very grateful for. She hopes to focus her time and effort into her work and apply everything that she has learned so far to her future. Hannah is an inspiring young woman and I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of her in years to come.

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Trending Now: Chick-Fil-A Edition

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America is slowly but surely switching over to healthier eating and healthier lifestyles. The growing trend to workout, meal prep, and make better decisions in regards to our health is the in. Restaurants are beginning to add more organic and fresh options, fast food places are counting calories, and every day new healthy food joints are popping up across the U.S.

Even America’s favorite fast food restaurant is hopping on the bandwagon too. On Monday, August 27th, 2018, Chick-Fil-A released their new “Mealtime Kit” in the greater Atlanta area, available for purchase in-store, drive-thru, or through the mobile app for $15.89 before tax. All ingredients are pre-portioned and pre-marinated, including the recipe, and make two servings in only 30 minutes. The first two meals released were Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Enchiladas- and word on the street says that CFA’s customers will get to experience new recipes every few weeks!

How did I learn about this? Chick-Fil-A is super successful with their social media marketing strategies. There’s a specific Athens Instagram profile that is active at least once per day with interactive posts and stories! In general, this platform is becoming increasingly popular for marketing tactics across the board and I think CFA picked the perfect outlet to reach their customers in this college town. I personally send and receive posts from their page pretty often as well! Follow @athens_cfa so you don’t miss out on all the coupons, events, and updates coming to our Athens locations because healthy eats and meal preps might not be just a trend!

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New Culture of Fitness is… Digital?

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It’s hard for millennials to think of a time when you couldn’t look up everything you wanted to know on the internet. If we want to know what is trending, we google it. If we want to find new music, we browse a music app and let it tell us what we would like to hear. Now, if we want to look up a new way to stay in shape, we turn to the internet. Trends in fitness have increased tremendously as a result of social media. Some may say they enjoy learning about new ways to stay in shape, while others feel discouraged by the constant change in trend. Whether people agree or disagree with the way fitness individuals communicate to their audience, social media has made it increasingly easier for those people to create a new fitness fad.

If you’re anything like generations y and z, you browse YouTube for videos on just about anything from fixing your car engine, to learning a math problem, to learning more about fitness. And most likely, you don’t like to admit it. There are hundreds of people all over YouTube telling the audience their “fitness journey” and how they came to be the fitness guru they are today. With all these individuals on social media telling you their tricks to being fit, more and more audience members are turning to social media as a means of personal training. Instead of meeting with a hands-on professional, they are spending hours sitting in front of the computer listening to a person talk about their own journey.

This shift in personal training has allowed any individual to start their own YouTube channel and become a fitness guru. People such as Sarah’s Day and Cristina Capron started their videos on the simple idea of sharing what their experience is and using the YouTube channel as a video diary of their transformation. While more audience members have followed them, they have been able to make a living off of YouTube videos. Instead of being a traditional personal trainer who meets with each client that contacts them, they are able to document what they do and reach out to hundreds of people around the globe. This has enabled them to reach a much greater audience and share their story further.

With their success on YouTube, both fitness moguls have created their own digital form of a workout routine. Sarah’s Day has recently launched her second ebook “Sweat it Reload” and is a continuation of her first ebook “Sweat it to Shred it”. Sarah’s Day used a downloadable digital ebook that you bought form the internet for her audience to enjoy the workout routine she created. Cristina Capron took it a step further and created a smartphone app where you can subscribe and follow the different workout routines, challenges, and tournamentshe creates for her audience. Both digital versions have helped the fitness icons grow their influence and power among the fitness community.

Sarah’s Day and Cristina Capron are just two examples of the growth social media and the digital platform have had on fitness. Instead of contacting a personal trainer in their area, individuals are searching for people on the internet that they can follow and different social media platforms. People get advice on how they should exercise, what they should eat, and what lifestyle routines they should do from someone they have never encountered before. Although some may see it as a downside, if you take the advice properly and realize everyone is different, social media can continue to influence more people and lead to a healthier, more aware society.

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The Healthcare Industry: An Unlikely User of Big Data

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If one thinks about what companies use big data, they probably first think about data driven companies like google. Next, they probably think of customer facing companies like Netflix. What probably doesn’t come to mind is healthcare companies. Some healthcare companies are just starting to digitize patient records for easier access, so analyzing these records and other things does not seem like a possibility, but it is. Almost every aspect of the human body can be quantified. Keeping that in mind, now one can see that the healthcare industry has a variety of places where big data could make a difference.

One-way big data is being used is to literally predict infections. Sepsis is an inflammatory infection and Dignity Health is using big data to spot when sepsis is coming on. They combine patient record information with language monitoring to constant monitor for the issue. Another way big data is being used for predictions is through prescription records. Express Scripts is using prescription histories to tell doctors about possible side effects a medication might have for a patient before they even prescribe it. Further, by looking at which medications someone takes, they may be able to predict a diagnosis before a doctor even knows it.

These ideas just scratch the surface of what data and big data analytics can do for the healthcare industry. With huge amounts of data and complex algorithms, patients could be diagnosed with higher accuracy and receive the medication that will best help them, all at lower costs. Big data is just beginning in the healthcare industry.


Beall, Anne-Lindsay. “Big Data in Health Care.” SAS, SAS Institute, www.sas.com/en_us/insights/articles/big-data/big-data-in-healthcare.html.

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Can Ben and Jerry’s Be Successful in the Low-Cal Market?

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Ben and Jerry’s has had a reputation for rich, delicious ice cream since its inception in the 70’s. Lately, the brand has been trying to keep up with new trends towards health and sustainability. They’ve come out with several vegan flavors as well as frozen yogurts. However, the latest trend in frozen desserts may prove harder for them to compete with.

Consumers are more concerned than ever with health and wellness, and even ice cream brands want a piece of this profitable pie. Numerous brands have recently come out with ice creams that boast 240-360 calories per pint. The most popular brand as of now is Halo Top, whose digital strategy and aesthetically pleasing packaging have won over many loyal fans. Ben and Jerry’s has undoubtedly noticed their success and have launched a campaign to try and compete in their own way.



Ben and Jerry’s is notoriously high calorie and high fat. In fact, in the 80’s they attempted to launch a “light” ice cream line which failed horribly because, while lower in fat for Ben and Jerry’s, it still had comparable fat to other regular ice creams. The brand’s latest light line, “moophoria” is not attempting to directly compete with extremely low calorie ice creams. Instead, they advertise 140-160 calories per half cup serving. Each pint would contain 4 servings, bringing the overall count for the pint to at least 560 calories…

With this in mind, I feel there’s only one way for Ben and Jerry’s to be successful in this market. Trying to fool consumers by plastering “150 calories” front and center will not work. The type of consumers who are interested in the health and wellness trends will definitely check the servings. Ben and Jerry’s should not attempt to compete in the calorie department.

What they should advertise through social media is that the ice cream does not contain artificial zero calorie sweeteners like every other brand in the market does. They should focus on prompting consumers to treat themselves in a healthier manner, rather than pushing the idea of eating a whole pint like Halo Top does. They should also continue to advertise the animal welfare values they have always claimed to uphold. These are the things that make their light ice cream appealing to the target market…They are not winning in the calorie department and to try and compete there is a losing strategy. While a lot of health nuts are worried about calories, I think the fear of the many chemicals in these other ice creams could potentially be more of a priority to them.

I would love to hear if this new ice cream appeals to you as a consumer! I think the next move for them will be making a vegan light ice cream, which I would absolutely be interested in trying because the Halo Top one is no bueno.


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Stop Exercising Start Training

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Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club is a health and fitness app created in 2011 by Nike Inc. It is a personal trainer built for women. The best thing is that the app offers more than 160 workouts all free. Nike promotes the idea of:  “Stop Exercising Start Training” with the intention of publicizing that by training you go through a progress and you know what you are doing and why you are doing it; by setting goals and creating workout plans and being able to train with a professional coach, all available to you by Nike.

With my personal experience after trying a variety of free apps for fitness training, NTC is the most complete and reliable one. Most of the other apps are advertised as free but only offer limited content. As a user of this app I can use the exercises whether I am in the gym or at home, and it is flexible to my schedule.  It also offers a lot of variety and can be used as the only exercise or as a complementary workout.

About the app

It is a personal trainer guided by experts through instructional audio and video clips for each workout. It offers a variety of exercises for all levels; you can either browse by muscle group or by workout type (endurance, mobility, strength, yoga). It also makes available different routines that vary on duration from around 15 minutes to an hour long. The user can select goal and fitness level. There is also personalized training plans and training recommendations based on each user´s routine; the more you use the app the more personal the recommendations become. Users are encouraged to unlock exclusive workouts by training more and more. In addition NTC features some well-known athletes and workouts inspired by them.

The app also offers NTC live workouts all around the world. Nike Trainers lead the workout and you can find upcoming events and find other members of the NTC according to the user´s specific location. The app also allows you to find and connect with friends to see their trainings, like a newsfeed.  Another available feature is to build a community and create community challenges in which you can train together with acquaintances.

Social Media Presence

Through this app Nike sells the idea of “Smart Training”, they advertise NTC through Nike.com and other social media channels. Nike Training Club is constantly mentioned online as one of the best apps for training. Its social media presence it is mostly devoted to encouraging app downloads in which exclusive content can be found. They also use different channels to connect with fans and let them know what´s to come in the app.

It is advertised in Facebook through Nike´s official page and Nike Women page, however there is no Nike Training Club official page. Even though fans can find a variety of NTC non-official (community) pages for each country, it is a weakness for the brand not to have all of their followers in one place promoted by the company itself.

Twitter also drives followers towards the app. The official NTC profile on Twitter has 180k followers; 11,9k tweets, 1895 likes. Posts about new and old features in the app and talks about partnerships made to improve the app. Finally, Nike uses a lot of celebrity endorsement both in their official Nike profile and in the Nike Training Club profile. On the other hand, in Instagram Nike creates a presence and uses attractive visual content. Currently it has 1.3m followers and only 310 posts.  The company uses it mainly to advertise Nike apparel and shoes. As with Twitter it features celebrities in small clips. However they don’t emphasize much on the app and its features and user´s results.

We can see that there is definitely some social media marketing aspects that the brand can improve on. They should do it for 2 main reasons: the first is to encourage more app users, the second is to engage their current users more by creating communities and worldwide movements. This would be a win-win situation for both the brand and women like me that are interested in a good fitness app and community.

What does Nike gain from this?

With NTC, Nike is creating a presence, meaning they want to be in top of the mind of the consumer. Consumers feel that Nike not only sells athletic apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories but that the company cares about our fitness and health. It tries to establish and maintain a relationship with the consumers in a daily basis. Besides Nike being in the app´s name we are also exposed to the brand in all trainings and videos since the coaches always use Nike gear. Finally, they also try to encourage sales with the catch “Train in Training Gear”, when they make potential consumers aware of their need of adequate training gear to help them with stability and support for every move.




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The story behind the success of an Australian-based personal trainer

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Kayla Itsines is an Australian 26 year-old personal trainer and author, but most important she is an entrepreneur. Her success is because she promotes her brand wisely, worldwide through different social media channels. Due to her impact in social media in March 2016 Time named Kayla one of the 30 most influential people on the internet. In April 2017 she was listed on the top of Forbes’ list of the world’s top social media influencers in the fitness world.

Currently she has more than 17 million likes and followers on her Facebook page; almost 20 million followers on Twitter; more than 220 000 subscribers on her YouTube channel and 8.5 million followers on Instagram. She is also on Tumblr, has a webpage and an app: SWEAT.

Kayla has been a personal trainer since 2008. Her market segment is women, due to the fact that she as a women understands their health and fitness goals. She started with a personal training business where she used to encourage people to take before-after photos to track their progress. That is how she came to use Instagram, at first only as a way to store her client´s transformations, but it ended up being much more.

Later, Itsines and her partner Tobi Pearce founded the Bikini Body Training in March 2013. They have published 2 eBooks called: Bikini Body Guide, which include both: workouts and nutrition facts. In November 2016 Itsines published her first print book, The Bikini Body 28-Day Eating and Lifestyle Guide, which later became a best-selling book. After a year, she published The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide.

Who would imagine that music artists were not the only ones that went on tours but personal trainers go as well! To promote her brand, in 2015 she made a world tour leading free group fitness classes called: “Kayla Itsines Bootcamp World Tour”. In 2016 she made another world tour called “Kayla Itsines Sweat Tour”, having huge success in both.

Her social media strategy is based on focusing on her followers and their transformation journeys rather than herself. Her success is due to her emphasis on the community aspect by making the product be women´s renovation itself. In all of her social media sites she introduces herself as a personal trainer and encourages women to join her force by promoting confidence, health and fitness.

“Join my online BBG Community and be supported and encouraged throughout your fitness journey. No matter where in the world you are, you can connect with positive women who help inspire you to keep working towards your personal goals.”

Her followers created the #BBG, which she now uses in all her media. She is the only person who posts on her social media accounts; though she has a team that helps her. Furthermore she is consistent in her brand´s image in all media channels. Even though the medium used the content is very similar. All of her social media has 5 main subjects:

  1. Photos of women´s transformation´s before and after using BBG and/or SWEAT
  2. Pictures and/or videos of Kayla herself exercising different series and routines
  3. Motivational quotes
  4. SWEAT products promotion and selling
  5. Pictures of healthy food options

Itsines doesn’t:

  • Promote anything relevant only to her personal life style
  • Promote something she doesn’t believe in
  • Sell any products (besides SWEAT products)

In addition to the previous content stated, on her Facebook page Kayla puts her information and then in a couple of paragraphs she tells a story about herself, explains her workouts and programs. Using motivational wording as persuasion. Her most viewed video on Facebook has 17 million views. In her Facebook page she also has different events she is going to host for the next months. On the other hand, on her website she offers a blog, a forum and BBG Groups. This last one encourages members of the BBG Community to join individuals that live in the same cities.

Kayla Itsines has become one of the most influential trainers worldwide because through social media she promotes changes not only in women´s bodies but also in their minds. Showing “women who have changed their lives” by using her guides.

“I’m known as one of the most influential trainers in the world and I’ve made it my personal mission to help as many women as possible to achieve their ideal body and to feel more confident and happy.”

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SPARKsouthSeptember 28, 2018
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