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Is yoga India's favourite workout?

By Rediff Get Ahead
November 24, 2020 10:55 IST
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Is yoga India's favourite fitness routine?

IMAGE: Fitness influencers Aashka Goradia and Brent Goble do yoga. Photograph: Kind courtesy Ashka Goradia/Instagram

How has COVID-19 changed the way Indians stay fit?

Gympik, a leading fitness discovery and booking platform recently conducted the COVID-19 Fitness Behaviour Survey.

More than 50,000 users from across India participated in the survey to share their fitness behaviour and preferences in the lockdown.

Some interesting findings from the survey:

Youngsters switched to digital fitness solutions in the lockdown

As per the survey, an increasing number of young users did not let the shut down of gyms and fitness centres stop them from staying fit.

In fact consumers between 25 and 34 years of age were the most willing to adopt digital fitness solutions, with female users (60%) being more open to virtual classes than male users (40%).

Respondents from Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi/NCR dominated the country's virtual fitness landscape, with 58%, 46%, and 42% of their surveyed residents working out at least 3-4 times a week, respectively.

Yoga tops the list

There was a surge in the demand for virtual classes for yoga (87%) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workouts such as Zumba (72%), aerobics (67%), and pilates (22%).

An overwhelming 84% of fitness enthusiasts tried live-streaming fitness classes at least thrice during the lockdown -- marking a significant increase over the corresponding numbers in 2019, which stood at 29%.

During the lockdown, 77% of Indians also tried to stay fit by combining household chores with virtual classes and DIY home workout routines.

Safety comes first

While 20% of the respondents were eager to return to gyms, only 8% felt it was safe enough to do so in the current situation.

Around 93% of the surveyed fitness enthusiasts also expressed their doubts about sanitisation measures taken at physical fitness centres after the lockdown.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of members said they would be more comfortable at the gym with additional sanitiser dispensers in the workout area.

As many as 87% felt that regular temperature check-ins along with contactless payments and attendance systems would make them feel safer.

Mental health cannot be ignored

Almost two-thirds (64%) of the respondents felt that the COVID-19 situation has worsened their mental health, with 45% of them admitting to being more anxious and 37% feeling more sadness than before.

But Indians are also proactively working to address these challenges.

Meditation and mindfulness apps have found favour with fitness enthusiasts across the country during the lockdown, with 42% of the respondents using them at least once every two days.

Exercise is important

More than half of the surveyed audience (55%) were also exercising at least 3 to 4 days a week -- a big change from their pre-COVID-19 exercise behaviour.

A significant majority (74%) worked out to build their immunity, while 53% of working professionals exercised to reduce health-related risks.

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