UMD fitness influencer shares her fitness journey and advice
By Madelyn Willoughby
December 7, 2021
Image Credit: Courtesy of Pietro Rampazzo for Unsplash
When Alyssa Leventhal was in middle school, she used to lie and say she was sick so she wouldn’t have to run the mile in gym class. This month, she finished her first half marathon.
Leventhal, a sophomore special education major at the University of Maryland, started her fitness Instagram account, @getfitwithalyssa_ over quarantine as a way to motivate herself to get active.
There, she posts her meals and recipes, her workouts and summaries from her Apple watch, motivational posts and general life updates. She has also posted about the results she’s achieved from having a consistent workout routine and healthy lifestyle.
Now, her account has almost 800 followers and over 100 posts and 35 story highlights. She uses it to share her favorite workouts, recipes and motivation tips.
At every step of her fitness journey to now, she felt like the next goal was completely out of reach. Training for a 5K and a 10K felt impossible when she first started.
“I would never have the word half marathon in my mouth,” Leventhal said, “just thinking about how I built up to that was like insane.”
Leventhal said that having more time over quarantine and seeing other fitness Instagram accounts motivated her to have a healthier lifestyle and start posting about it on social media. She also likes having her past posts saved because they show all the steps of her progression towards more consistent and intense workouts.
Sophomore communications major Paige Andrus also runs a fitness instagram, @paigeletfit, and has found it inspiring to watch Leventhal’s journey on her Instagram. She was excited to see the post showing that Leventhal finished the half marathon.
“To see her finally do it was just amazing,“ Andrus said. “She’s just very inspiring.”
Andrus began her own account at first as a part of the on-campus exercise organization CHAARG, but has since tailored the account to her own interests and goals. She said that she likes hearing from followers that her Instagram inspired them to workout.
Both Leventhal and Andrus are also ambassadors for F the Freshman 15, which promotes having a healthy lifestyle at college. They make content for the F the Freshman 15’s Instagram account and are connected with other ambassadors across the country.
Leventhal’s advice for students looking to incorporate more fitness into their routines is to stop thinking that workouts have to be really long and intense.
She said even just a walk with family and friends is a good start. Building up to harder workouts and a more intense routine is the key, she said.
“The hardest part is showing up because once you’re there that’s half the battle,” Leventhal said, “you just got to keep going with it.”