It might feel like everyone around you is in the middle of their ‘summer shred’, not to mention our feeds being flooded with unnecessary tips to get your body ‘bikini ready’.
But as it turns out, this pre-summer fitness trend is actually a bit of an urban myth, according to new research.
A study by MyFitnessPal has revealed Aussies’ exercise routines actually plummeted in the lead up to the silly season. And as these experts share, that’s totally fine.
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There’ll be more boozy BBQs than big bike rides this summer, with research from the global nutrition and food tracking app revealing the amount Aussies exercise significantly reduces between October to December.
Based on the app’s tracking data, which enables users to log their food intake and exercise time, the amount of exercise logged on the app nosedives long before the holiday season kicks off.
This means many Aussies could be breaking the healthy habits they’ve worked hard to develop throughout the year.
When it comes to tracking outdoor exercise like walking, running, swimming and cycling, the summer slump starts with over a third (37 per cent) of users logging exercise in October 2021. This drops to under three in ten people (29 per cent) in December.
The drop in healthy routines has been a persistent trend for the past five years and is set to continue this year, with just over a third (34 per cent) of MyFitnessPal users logging exercise in October 2022.
“Australia is in a relatively unique position. While other countries have their big celebrations in winter and then months to prepare for summer, Australians are trying to balance both at once. Our data indicates that it’s a challenge Aussies struggle to manage,” Tricia Han , CEO at MyFitnessPal, commented.
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“Fitting exercise into our routines can be trickier when schedules get busier in the lead up to summer,” Han continued.
“But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to creating healthy habits, but keeping track of your progress could be key to keeping motivated during the summer months.
“There are some simple things you can do to help stick to your healthy routines. If you’re struggling with your usual gym or fitness classes, consider walking instead of taking the bus, dive in for a swim while at the beach or take part in some team sports in your local park to bolster your exercise. You might be surprised at how quickly this all adds up.”
Recent research from The peloton gave similar results, revealing that almost half of the nation (47 per cent) admitted that they prioritize social events in the summer over exercise.
Peloton’s Australian Instructor, Kirra Michel, can relate to the challenges many people face in juggling a busy schedule and personal life, while also carving out time for themselves.
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She says Aussies shouldn’t be too hard on themselves about maintaining the exact same exercise routine all year round, particularly during busy times in their lives, as a quality workout is more important than quantity.
“The festive season and summer holidays can be such an enjoyable, yet hectic time of year, that even the most disciplined person can fall out of routine. Making time to recharge and reconnect with family and friends is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your mental and physical well-being,” Michel says.
“Movement is essential for maintaining optimal health as it helps improve sleep, mental clarity, and builds better functioning bodies. Whether you only have a spare five or 10 mins for a quick meditation, taking a moment to prioritize yourself by doing some form of exercise will put you in a better mindset to tackle social occasions over the months ahead.”
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