More than two-thirds of self-conscious Brits are happiest when working out alone, with four in 10 loathing exercising in front of others for fear they look unfit, don’t have the right gear, or won’t last the length of the entire class.
Undoubtedly the last few months have seen solo exercisers coming into their own, taking to the streets to walk, run or cycle in their droves as the Covid-19 pandemic has limited group exercise. It also emerged 42 per cent of adults prefer exercising alone as they can follow their own schedule, rather than keeping to other people’s timeframes.
One third feel able to better concentrate on what they are doing, while 37 per cent like to be alone with their thoughts. And one-fifth of the 2,000 adults polled by Vision Direct, which commissioned the study, worry about being judged by others.
Says Fitness coach and model Jon Hosking:
“Working out alone can be a hugely rewarding and effective endeavour. By doing so, you are taking complete control, allowing for more specific focus and to lock in on particular goals you have while dealing with fewer distractions.
“My advice would be to walk before you can run! Build your programme with patience in mind, make sure it’s something you can stick to, work on the correct execution of moves and this will all help to stave off any potential injury.
“And be mindful when you work out alone and listen to your body. You should not be suffering through your exercise. Always make sure you’re wearing the right gear and feel comfortable.”
Researchers found 27 per cent of adults won’t feel comfortable doing communal exercise until they ‘lose a few pounds’, while 13 per cent want to get to the point where they can talk and workout at the same time.
Being able to run a mile without walking is the goal for 16 per cent of adults, while 17 per cent want to confidently exercise without panting all the way through.
Other barriers Brits feel the need to break down before considering exercise in front of anyone else include being able to do a decent number of sit-ups or press-ups (11 per cent) and having the ability to cycle uphill without stopping (12 per cent).
However, there are drawbacks of exercising alone, with 29 per cent of those who do admitting they would probably work harder with someone else pushing them. Four in 10 adults polled via OnePoll said it’s much harder to self-motivate for a solo session, and 31 per cent have been known to give themselves a day off rather than battle on through.
And if you wonder which exercise might be right for you – this online quiz may help https://www.visiondirect.co.
TOP TIPS TO START YOUR WORK OUT
Vision Direct has teamed up with fitness expert Jon Hosking to create top-tips on how to get started with exercise, including creating a plan based on current fitness levels, goals and time available.
1. What’s your starting point?
A good talk test can help you get an idea about your current fitness level, as well as measure your stamina. Can you walk briskly whilst holding a conversation? This can also be handy to test how your exertion levels build up in-between workouts.
2. Comfort is everything: do you have the right gear?
Having the right workout clothes and footwear is key. It’s also important to enjoy freedom of movement so you can focus on exercising, so we recommend removing your glasses and wearing contact lenses. That way, you won’t have to deal with foggy glasses, they won’t break and cause accidents and you’ll gain good peripheral vision.
3. What are your priorities and goals?
It’s good to have a purpose to your training, without setting a ceiling. Are you exercising to lose weight, gain muscle mass, improve core stability, agility or coordination? A goal focuses the mind and activates your energy to go and achieve.
4. Are you taking time out for stretching?
Stretching is a fundamental part of exercise and your well-being and you are far more likely to adhere to a programme and keep a routine if you are supple, with a good range of motion, free from aches and pains, void of injuries.
5. Are you keeping a record of your workouts?
Are your goals noted down and are you keeping track of your progress? Keeping yourself accountable when it’s just you can be difficult and seeing progress and improvement can act as a huge incentive and motivation to keep going.
6. What does your routine look like?
Mapping out the ideal week of activity is a good idea. You need to assign and make time to work out, working around your schedule.
7. What are your non-negotiables for working out and moving?
Is there anything in your training routine that you can do without? Understanding that can help you make a base layer when it comes to your fitness programme.
8. Are you a part of an online workout community?
Have a look at online workout communities. You can maintain your anonymity if you’d like, and it will help you feel connected with others that are on the same boat.
9. Is your diet helping or hindering you working out?
You are more likely to stick to a programme of working out alone if you are correctly energised and then fully recovered. Ensure you are getting the right balance of carbs, fats and proteins in your meals and the necessary micronutrients and vitamins.
Anyone who has ever tried to adjust their diet overnight knows how much of a struggle it can be to work out what works best for them and achieve the perfect balance. Your body will take time to adjust to fewer calories and more energy consumed from your workout. You can find supplements and nutrition alternatives like Growli to give you a helping hand and slowly make effective changes that will improve your conditioning and boost progress.
10. Is this making you happy?
This is the most important one: exercise does not have to be gruelling. We should look to enjoy it with the goal of it making us physically and mentally happier than we were before we started.