5 Health-Inspired Instagram Story Contest Ideas

Health was, is, and will always be important. However, we’ll admit that health has gotten a modern facelift, so to speak, thanks to digital media. In the world of Instagram, health finds itself shown in the faces (and rock hard bodies) of fitness influencers and personal trainers. We’ve got vegan and ketogenic do-it-yourself recipes and positive mindset affirmations, just to name a few.

With World Health Day and Women’s Health Week falling in May, now seems as good a time as ever for a list of five health-inspired Instagram Story contests.

General Rules for Instagram Story Contests


To host a contest that runs on Instagram Stories, readers need to upload to their stories (not post a picture to their feed). In order for you or your company to see it, they need to @mention your Instagram handle in their story. By using an @mention, you 1) get a notification about it in your messages and 2) are able to reshare it to your business’ Instagram Story if you want.

Submission Format

You can keep your submission format open or you can specify what type of submissions you want for the contest. Do you want photos only? Videos? Do you want them to sing a song to you? Do you want them to post a GIF and explain why they chose that animated GIF? There are so many ways to up the ante when it comes to Instagram Story submissions. Get creative and make sure to tell your audience what you’re looking for to be qualified.


Don’t forget—Instagram Stories have a self-combustion deadline. You have a 24-hour window to view stories before they are automatically deleted. It is best to figure out how you will keep track of your contest submissions. You can screenshot submissions as they come in or ask users to direct message you with their submissions so you can refer back to them. You can also use marketing software like Woobox to collect, curate, and display user-generated content for your contests or giveaways.

Health & Fitness Instagram Story Contest Ideas

Idea 1.) Fitness Tips

Your contests can be as broad or as narrow as you’d like it to be. If you want to skim the surface, keep your contest rules more general. This way, more people will be able to participate. The more specific your contest, the more you will have to rely on the participation of people that can specifically identify with your niche contest. One piece of advice? Aim for the middles.

What’s a health-inspired Instagram Story contest your business can host? Ask your followers to submit a Story with a photo or video about their favorite fitness tip. Asking for someone’s favorite fitness tip is fine, but when your question is too broad, it can make it harder to answer. Narrow down the focus. Ask users to submit a fitness tip for working out a specific body part (flat tummies, bulging biceps, buns of steel…you get the picture). By focusing your contest on advice about strengthening a particular body part, your prompt is general enough for many people to partake in submitting, but narrow enough to direct your submitters’ focus on a single subtopic.

Idea 2.) Workout Gear

A great health-inspired Instagram Story contest is to ask your followers to post about their favorite workout gear. There are a plethora of avenues when it comes to workout gear. Narrow down the topic to focus on their most recommended gym apparel, products (stretching, rolling, bands, dumbbells), or workout accessories (headphones, hats, water bottles, running shoes).

Make sure to specify your rules of submission. People can easily post a boring, stark white product photo, so make it known that you want to see their favorite workout gear in action. Whether that means capturing a photo of you running in your favorite gym shoes on an outdoor trail during a marmalade-colored sunset or during sit-up red number 20 in the best noise cancelling headphones. Encourage creative, action shots or videos to make your Instagram Story contest more dynamic and engaging for others to participate in.

As for prizes? Give away products in tangent with your contest. If you’re hosting a contest around the best running shoes, offer a pair of elite running shoes as the prize. You can also consider giving prizes that will add to the user’s experience. If people are submitting photos around their favorite running shoe, maybe you can give away gel insoles, shoe cleaner, laces, and/or a gift card to a shoe store.

Idea 3.) Power Jams

When you walk into a gym, you can hear music playing in the background. Why? Because music can make or break your workout. A good song can (surprisingly) amp up your gym session because of its impact on your mental energy.

For a health-inspired Instagram Story contest, ask users to submit a video of themselves jamming out to their favorite workout song. Don’t think your users are the selfie karaoke types? Ask them to upload a video of their workout and include a clip of their favorite song.

With Instagram Stories’ music feature, users can add a song to their story. To access this feature, you can either swipe left twice from the camera or tap the “Music” tab on the bottom of the screen to add music. You can also snap or upload content and hit the third icon (square smiley face sticky note) and choose the Music function. Users can also choose their favorite clip of the song to upload.

The fun part about this is when you receive your submissions, you can repost your favorites to your company’s story and essentially compile a gym playlist created by your users, for your users.

Idea 4.) Transformation Pictures

Transformation pictures are huge motivators in the world of fitness and health. A health-inspired Instagram Story contest is to ask people to post their transformation (or before and after) photos to their story. Keep in mind, posting before and after photos takes a ton of courage for the participants. This is especially true for people who are still in “in progress” stage of their journey—so make the contest worth it for those who are brave enough to share their story!

Idea 5.) Post-Workout Meal

Who doesn’t love food? A fun health-inspired Instagram Story contest is to ask your followers to post a story about their all-start post-workout meal. You will get a colorful variety of responses. Want to hone in on a certain type of meal? Create contest instructions asking people to show what ingredients go into their post-workout smoothie, or what their best protein-based post-workout meal entails.

Whether you are a health and fitness junkie or are just starting to dabble in the world of health, we can all relate to the topic because we all need to better ourselves. Keep in mind, you don’t need to wait for a health day to promote health and fitness. These health-inspired Instagram Story contests can be used any time of year for any purpose, because good health is a life-long journey–and should be celebrated at every stage of life.

Have questions or need help?

The Woobox support team is available from 8 am — 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday at 1-360-450-5200 or at support@woobox.com.