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But a survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed that of the four in 10 who started an exercise regime at the beginning of the year, more than half (56 percent) have kept it up. Men (61 percent) were more likely to carry on with their regime than women (50 percent). However, of those who didn’t manage to maintain their exercise drive, the average person quit after 14 weeks.
The study, by health and fitness app Jonple, found 47 percent used the pandemic as a motivation to get themselves fit or stay in shape.
The most popular activities to keep fit were walking more (62 percent), followed by running (41 percent), cycling (31 percent) and swimming (23 percent).
Andrew Jones, the CEO and co-founder of Jonple, said: “The last nine months have been unprecedented with the pandemic putting huge pressure on the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing.
“It is heartening to see how many people have set themselves a goal to get fit and managed to maintain it throughout the year.
“It is fair to say the pandemic has acted as a motivator for many people to improve their health in 2020.
“As we relax over the Christmas period with a few mince pies, many of us will be thinking about ways to build on the good work from 2020 or look at ways to improve our health and fitness next year.”
The study also found that alongside exercise regimes, almost one in five (18 percent) started a new diet in January 2020, with 61 percent maintaining it throughout the year.
But those who quit did so after maintaining the diet for an average for six weeks.
One third (33 percent) said the pandemic had made them take a healthier approach to eating, although 16 percent said it had gone the opposite way.
More than half (54 percent) went on fitness drives this year to lose weight, 56 percent to feel better mentally and 48 percent to look better physically.
Meanwhile, 55 percent wanted to improve their physical strength.
It also emerged that 67 percent typically exercised on their own and a fifth (20 percent) had someone else to keep them on their toes.
But having a workout mate is also important – with 57 percent more likely to stick with their exercise if they have someone to do it with.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 44 percent said the closure of gyms negatively affected their motivation.
Jonple commissioned the research to highlight its new app, which uses the science and psychology behind nutrition and exercise to create personalised plans to help people get fit or stay healthy.
Andrew Jones added: “While we’ve made huge progress with the vaccines, 2021 remains a relative unknown and it is important to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.
“At Jonple, we are looking to challenge how people look at health and wellness by merging diet with structured tailored exercise and then psychology to help us understand what aspects of day-to-day life distract us from our goal or giving up altogether.
“As we look towards new year resolutions, small changes like a healthier and more nutritional diet along with exercise, be it a good walk, going for a run or even a bit of fresh air can be the first step towards helping to become a healthier happier you.”
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