Gyms may have reopened, but many of us haven’t plucked up the courage to go back yet.
Despite the social distancing and extra cleaning measures in place, many Brits are still reluctant to get in shape.
Here we reveal some little-known exercise facts and top workout tips to encourage you back into action.
You shouldn’t worry too much about picking up coronavirus at the gym, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Oslo found that as long as the proper hygiene measures are in place and users take appropriate precautions, people who go to the gym are no more at risk than those who don’t.
Going to the gym at the same time of day could be beneficial, according to a study in the journal Obesity.
It found that subjects lost more weight if they kept a workout routine.
Morning workouts might also be best, as studies suggest they help lower blood pressure and kickstart the metabolism – but being a “weekend warrior” is perfectly fine as well.
In fact, researchers found that people who go to the gym on a Saturday and Sunday are 30 per cent less likely to die early, compared to five per cent less likely on weekdays.
On average, people who live near gyms are slimmer – but exercise alone won’t bust that belly. You’ll need to eat and drink well too.
A study in the journal PLoS ONE found that endurance exercise like a spinning class could even slow down the ageing process, while research from Ireland suggests losing weight by hitting the gym may give blokes a libido boost in the bedroom.
Going to the gym can reduce the number of poor mental health days you suffer by more than 20 per cent, according to researchers at Yale and Oxford.
Another study, from Harvard, found that every 35 minutes spent on a treadmill, rowing machine or cross-trainer lowered the risk of depression by 17 per cent.
But overdoing exercise could have the opposite effect. Experts recommend working out for roughly an hour every other day to reap the mood-boosting rewards.
Listening to music can help you work out longer, according to a survey by Sweatband.
It found a typical gym session lasted 58 minutes with music, compared with 39 minutes without.
Upbeat music can also boost performance, with dance music especially good for strength training, sports psychologists at Brunel University found.
Weightlifting may be even better for your heart health than cardio-style exercise, researchers say.
Meanwhile a Finnish study found the activity could help ward off dementia.
Lifting weights can also turn fat into muscle and improve your posture.
You’ll burn more fat if you avoid eating before you go to the gym – though having a coffee beforehand could improve performance and reduce post-workout muscle pain.
A US study also found that choosing your post-workout snack before you go to the gym could help you eat something healthier.