How excited are you to get back to the gym? We decided to find out…

After 12 months of daily walks, home workouts and online exercise classes, the end is nearly in sight. If everything goes to plan, gyms across the country will reopen on 12th April, and we’re feeling pretty excited about it!

While many of us have embraced the home workout, for others, the gyms reopening can’t come soon enough. To find out more, we surveyed over 2,000 adults from all over the UK, to see how they feel about the gyms reopening, as well as how they’ve been keeping fit during lockdown.

We’re also giving away a free Back-to-the-Gym Bundle worth £24 to everyone in the country. The packs include protein powder, a shaker, pre-workout and more, with vegan options available too. Grab your bundle here.

Brits are more excited about gyms reopening than pubs, hairdressers and shops

That’s right – according to our research, Brits are more excited about getting back to the gym than they are about going for a pint, getting their hair cut or going out shopping.

When asked how they felt about different lockdown restrictions being eased, 67% said they felt excited about the gyms reopening. Meanwhile, 65% said they were excited about going to the barbers or hairdressers and just 57% said they were looking forward to going to the pub. The only thing Brits are more excited about is being able to go out for dinner, with 76% saying they were excited about going to a restaurant again.

post-lockdown most desired activities

How has lockdown impacted our fitness?

With workout options limited, we’ve had to switch up our routines and find new ways to keep fit over lockdown. While this may have been a challenge at first, it seems to have paid off. 42% of Brits said they’ll feel confident returning to the gym, with this number jumping to 67% for people with pre-existing gym memberships.

1 in 3 people we spoke to said they feel their fitness and general health has improved over the past 12 months. 49% said they’ve made more of an effort to exercise during lockdown, with 41% saying they’ve been exercising more than they were before.

It looks like these positive changes are here to stay, with 41% of our respondents saying they’ve introduced healthy lifestyle changes which they want to continue, and 35% saying they’ve tried a new form of exercise they’re planning to carry forward.

And to make things even better, we’ve been saving money too, with 51% of Brits saying they’ve spent less money on fitness over lockdown than beforehand.

Lockdown impact on fitness UK

How have we been keeping fit?

The gyms may have been closed, but luckily there are plenty of other things you can do, whether you’re looking for some gentle exercise, or something to really get your blood pumping.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, walking came out on top as the most popular form of lockdown exercise, with 6 in 10 Brits taking a daily stroll to keep fit. Running and bodyweight exercises were the next most popular options, following by cycling, dancing and yoga.

UK lockdown fitness habits

Splitting out our results by region, London was crowned the UK’s running hotspot, with nearly a quarter of people in the capital jogging during lockdown. Meanwhile, Southampton ranked the highest for cycling, with 23% getting on a bike over the past 12 months.

Brighton came out on top for both bodyweight exercises, with 28%, and dancing, with 19%, while Cardiff ranked top for yoga, with 13%.

How have we been spending our money?

While half of the people we spoke to said they’ve spent less money on fitness over lockdown than beforehand, that isn’t to say we haven’t found time to treat ourselves. In fact, 1 in 4 Brits have bought something for their fitness over the past 12 months.

Gen Z were the most likely to make a purchase, with a whopping 69% of 16-24 year-olds having spent money on fitness products. Perhaps inspired by the latest TikTok trend, 1 in 10 purchased a hula-hoop as a fun new way to keep fit.

Regionally, London came out on top with 44% of people in the capital purchasing something over lockdown, compared to just 20% of people in Sheffield.

cities lockdown fitness spending

Looking at what we’ve been spending our money on, workout clothes and trainers were the most common purchases, followed by exercise mats and resistance bands.

lockdown fitness purchases

Take Home Message

While the last 12 months certainly haven’t been easy, our research highlighted a number of positives to come out of it. We’ve been making more of an effort to keep fit, trying out new forms of exercising and spending more time on ourselves. And it seems to have paid off, with people feeling more confident about heading back to the gym.

If you’re one of the millions of Brits who’ve been counting down the days until you can get back to the gym, the wait is nearly over. Make sure you grab your free Back-to-the-Gym Bundle and in the meantime, check out some of our other posts if you’re looking for inspiration.

Adele Halsall

Adele Halsall

Writer and expert

Adele is a keen blogger and yogi with a passion for the vegan lifestyle. She loves exploring new (sometimes weird) foods, cooking & testing new recipes, and always appreciates a good sourdough.

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