The Evolution of Exercise
17 September, London: According to new research from real food protein bar brand, RXBAR, the pandemic has caused Brits to re-evaluate and shift their usual exercise habits, stemming from changes made during lockdown. The research found that only 6% of Brits, with an existing gym membership, have returned to the gyms since opening back in July, and 11% claim they will only return in the future when the weather gets worse.
The main reason for those who don't wish to return to the gym, but had existing membership pre-lockdown, is the fear of contracting coronavirus (30%), and over a third (33%) are nervous of the hygiene standards maintained by gyms. Additional reasons include not being able to afford gym membership (19%) anymore and finding that the gym is no longer physically convenient (11%).
At the beginning of lockdown, many saw this time as opportunity for self-improvement and used the additional time as a chance to exercise. Since March, over a third (35%) of Brits have increased the amount exercise they do each week, citing they want to keep their bodies fit and healthy (45%) as the main reason.
Additionally, Brits have prioritised exercise since the start of the pandemic to improve their mental health (26%), get out of the house more (29%) and lose the weight gained in lockdown (23%). Shockingly, nearly 1 in 10 (8%) Brits admitted that they've increased their exercise because spending more time with their partner made them realise they don't find them as attractive anymore!
Interestingly, from those that said they wouldn't return to the gym, nearly a fifth (18%) put this down to a want to continue exercising outside instead, and 22% realise that they can exercise at home or elsewhere without equipment.
The findings reveal that over a third (35%) of Brits took up a new sport or activity in lockdown, with the need to keep active whilst the gyms were closed - the most popular being walking (14%), cycling (7%), running (7%) and yoga (6%).
And with limited places to go and less opportunities to spend money until lockdown eased on the 4th of July, many Brits invested in sports equipment with the average Brit spending £68 since the start of lockdown. Items include running shoes (5%), a bicycle (4%), a fitness tracker or watch (4%) and even for some, an at home gym (4%).
With the average gym membership costing £40 a month1, it looks like many Brits will have extra money to spend as the research shows that 39% claim that they will continue this new sport and not return to the gym.
Lily Soutter, nutritionist and RXBAR spokesperson, said: "RXBARs are a delicious and nourishing snack, made with just a handful of nutrient-dense ingredients. Having a bar or two stocked in your kitchen cupboard is a convenient way of enjoying a 12g protein boost throughout busy days. These bars are unique in the fact that their protein source comes from egg white which is low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol whilst also being a source of minerals. Egg white is also considered a 'high-quality' protein, as it contains all, essential amino acids required to stimulate muscle growth and repair, a must when staying active. These bars certainly hit the sweet spot, yet contain no added sugar! They are also high in fibre, a crucial component for digestive health and keeping hunger and bay."
Lily's top tips for maximising your workout:
1. Protein - little and often is key! When it comes to toning up, protein consumption is best spread throughout the day. It's all too easy to pile protein into our evening meal and skimp on this important macronutrient in our breakfast and snacks. Large amounts of protein in one sitting may be wasted as only 20-40g protein per 3-hour period is needed to maximally stimulate muscle growth and repair2. Little and often is key, and RXBars are a convenient way to enjoy a high-quality protein dose throughout the day.
2. Fuel your exercise the right way: Carbohydrate is the body's primary source of fuel and is a particularly important macronutrient to maximise workouts. Aim to consume a balanced meal 2-4 hours before exercise including slow-release carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, pasta, brown rice and even oat. If you have less than one-hour pre-workout then you may benefit from a small easy to digest carbohydrate-containing snack for that energy boost.
3. Refuel: Recovery is key when taking your fitness to the next level. For optimal recovery consume carbohydrates as soon as possible post-exercise. During this time, the body is in a more insulin sensitive state, meaning that it can replenish muscle glycogen (energy) stores more efficiently. Furthermore, combining carbohydrates with protein will help to repair damaged muscle cells and encourage your muscles to become stronger. Keeping a carbohydrate and protein-rich RXBAR to hand can be a convenient way to refuel efficiently post-workout.
4. Hydrate: Put simply, when you work out you sweat, that's true no matter what your age, sex or fitness level, therefore replacing fluid loss is a must. 65% of our body consists of water and dehydration can have a huge impact on exercise performance energy and even mood. A large meta-analysis has concluded that dehydration can also impair cognitive performance, particularly for tasks which involve attention and concentration3. The quickest way of assessing your hydration status is to check the colour of your urine. If it's dark yellow, it could be a sign of dehydration4. If you struggle with plain water, try jazzing yours up by infusing with an array of fresh fruit overnight.
5. Relax and rest: If exercising hard, our body needs adequate rest to repair and strengthen itself between workout. Overtraining can lead to burnout, low immune function, decreased sports performance and even injury. Building recovery time into any training programme is important as it allows the body to replenish energy stores, repair damaged tissue and adapt to exercise stress.
RXBAR is the real food protein bar made with a few simple ingredients. Each bar is simply made up of egg whites for a protein punch, dates to bind, nuts for texture. Every ingredient serves a purpose. Each minimal-ingredient bar packs 12 grams of protein and contains no added sugar, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. What you see is what you eat.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
Research conducted by Opinium Research amongst 2,001 adults in the UK, between 14-17 August 2020 and not previously published.
RXBAR is a real-food protein bar made with a few simple ingredients. The core of each bar is egg whites for protein, dates to bind, nuts for texture. Every ingredient serves a purpose. Each minimal-ingredient bar packs 12 grams of protein and contains no added sugar, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. They are perfect for a breakfast on the go, a protein-packed afternoon snack, or pre/post-workout fuel.
Chocolate Sea Salt, the best seller, combines egg white protein with rich chocolate and a pinch of sea salt. Tastes decadent, whilst being good for you.
Coconut Chocolate is exactly what it says on the pack; it is the perfect balance of coconut and the purest form of chocolate.
Blueberry season is now all year long. A sweet chocolate alternative.
Peanut Butter, an iconic flavour that packs a protein punch of creamy peanuts.
Peanut Butter Chocolate combines the creamy taste of peanut butter with the rich flavour of chocolate. Name a better duo. combines the creamy taste of peanut butter with the rich flavour of chocolate. Name a better duo.
Vanilla Almond, call us vanilla, but we like to think the second-most expensive spice in the world is actually pretty epic...not boring.
Where to buy:
RXBAR website: www.rxbar.co.uk
Select M&S locations
RRP: 12 bars for £27
Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1275599/RXBAR_UK_Protein_Bars.jpg
Logo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1079927/RXBAR_Logo.jpg