Fitness Facts

48 Fitness Facts To Keep You Moving!

Contents

Want to get fit and not sure where to start? Or are you a regular gym bunny and like to validate your long hours working out?

Either way, fitness is an important component of being healthy. Here we bring you 48 fitness facts to help you understand the benefits of exercise, and why everyone – male, female, young and old – should pencil in time to get moving.

Benefits of Exercise Facts

Exercise plays an integral role in keeping you happy and healthy. Here are just a few facts about the benefits of exercising:

1. Everyone can reap the benefits of physical activity, regardless of age, shape or size.

Everyone can reap the benefits of physical activity, regardless of age, shape or size

2. Regular physical activity, combined with a healthy diet, can help prevent and manage Type 2 Diabetes.

Regular physical activity, combined with a healthy diet, can help prevent and manage Type 2 Diabetes

3. An hour of exercise a day goes a long way.

People who are physically active for approximately seven hours a week are 40% less likely to die early compared to people who are only active for less than 30 minutes a week.

An hour of exercise a day goes a long way

4. Regular physical exercise can help you sleep better.

Regular physical exercise can help you sleep better

The number of people suffering from a sleep disorder is growing.

Thankfully, as well as regular physical exercise, there are a number of other things proven to help, including yoga!

5. Working out regularly shrinks your fat cells.

No matter how much weight we lose, the fat cells in our body won’t decrease, they simply shrink in size!

Working out regularly shrinks your fat cells

6. Only 10% of people are successful at losing weight through diet alone.

Only 10% of people are successful at losing weight through diet alone
  • Although weight loss should not be the sole purpose of exercise, when combined with diet, it is the best way to lose weight.

The National Weight Control Registry found that 89% of people who use a combination of diet and exercise were successful at keeping the weight off for over one year.

MYTH:

“The more you sweat, the more calories you burn.”

Sweat is how your body cools itself down. It doesn’t equate to calories burned.[1]

7. Exercise has an antidepressant effect on those suffering from clinical depression.

Exercise has an antidepressant effect on those suffering from clinical depression

8. Living with anxiety? Regular exercise can help reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Living with Anxiety? Regular Exercise Can Reduce Symptoms of the Condition

9. 30% of adults report feeling less stressed after exercising.

30% of Adults Report Feeling Less Stressed After Exercising

Keeping fit is a great way to take care of your mental health!

Research shows again and again just how powerful it can be to lift your mood and improve your self-esteem.

10. People who don’t regularly exercise could lose up to 80% of their muscle strength by age 65.

If You Don't Exercise Regularly, You Could Lose Up to 80% of Your Muscle Strength by 65

Ways to Keep Fit

Fitness does require exercise, but it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. We bring you some simple solutions to encourage you to keep fit:

1. A quarter of adults aren’t active at all.

A quarter of adults aren’t active at all
  • Getting physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple ways to get more active could be taking the dog for a walk, raking the yard, cleaning the house, or simply walking around while you take those phone calls at the office.[2]

2. 80% of Americans who have a gym membership do not use the gym.

80% of Americans Who Have a Gym Membership Do Not Use the Gym

3. Only one in five children around the world do enough physical exercise.

Only one in five children around the world do enough physical exercise

When we look at the results by gender, we see that girls are lagging behind boys.

A massive 85% of girls are taking too little physical exercise, compared to 78% of boys.

4. Pinched for time? Even 10 minutes of exercise will help raise your heart rate and maintain fitness levels.

Pinched for time? Even 10 minutes of exercise will help raise your heart rate and maintain fitness levels
Walking is the Most Popular Way to Stay Active in the United States

Yoga holds the top spot when it comes to the most popular forms of group exercise!

Read more about the growth of the practice here.

6. Walking at a brisk pace can burn almost as many calories as jogging the same distance.

Walking at a brisk pace can burn almost as many calories as jogging the same distance

7. Swimming is a great form of exercise because it incorporates both cardio and strength training.

Swimming is a great form of exercise because it incorporates both cardio and strength training

8. It takes the body six to eight weeks to adapt to an exercise program.

A natural time to change this is with the seasons, so you can adapt your fitness regime to the elements.

Use the change of seasons to switch up your workout routine or form of exercise, especially if you dread those cold winter months.

Researchers at the University of Florida found people who modified their workouts every couple of weeks were more satisfied and motivated.

MYTH:

“In order to build strength, lifting weights is required.”

Strength training is simply creating work for your muscles through resistance. This can be done in many ways, including using just your body weight.[3]

Strength and Fitness

When most people think of strength, they picture big body builders.

However, adequate muscle strength is required to keep you moving and performing everyday tasks, and therefore is a fundamental aspect of general fitness.

1. The ‘core’ includes any muscles that attach to your pelvis, spine and ribs.

The ‘core’ includes any muscles that attach to your pelvis, spine and ribs

2. Regular weight training increases the number of calories burned during normal activities.

Regular weight training increases the number of calories burned during normal activities
  • A study found women who incorporated strength training, three times a week into their workout routine, were more likely to maintain their current weight.

3. Crunches alone won’t slim the midsection; if you want a flat belly you’ll need to incorporate cardio to burn those calories!

Crunches alone won’t slim the midsection; if you want a flat belly you’ll need to incorporate cardio to burn those calories

Strengthening your core through abdominal exercises will make you appear leaner because these muscles do help hold in your belly.[4]

However, on their own, core exercises won’t completely eliminate fat.[5]

Studies found that partaking in aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, running and biking, for 20-40 minutes a day is helpful in reducing that pesky fat in your midsection.[6]

4. Being fit is good for your heart because it strengthens the muscles needed to make your heart and cardiovascular system function.

Being fit is good for your heart because it strengthens the muscles needed to make your heart and cardiovascular system function

5. Gardening can be an effective way to build strength throughout your body.

Gardening Can Be an Effective Way to Build Strength Throughout Your Body

Though you might just think of lifting weights when it comes to building muscle, there are lots of other ways to build strength.

6. Muscle mass diminishes at the rate of 1% a year in middle age.

Muscle mass diminishes at the rate of 1% a year in middle age

MYTH:

“Fitness is losing weight.”

Fitness is more than achieving a healthy weight. Strive to feel better, increase your energy and relieve stress.[7]

Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Having fitness goals will help you stay on track and motivated to exercise regularly, keeping you fit and healthy!

1. People who work out with a partner are more likely to stick with their fitness regimes.

People who work out with a partner are more likely to stick with their fitness regimes

A study by the University of Aberdeen found that people who worked out with a partner exercised more than those who followed their regular routine alone.

Additionally, the study found that people who offered emotional support and encouragement to their partners were more likely to exercise than partners who only offered practical support, like never missing a session.

So find a friend and encourage each other to meet your fitness goals!

2. Scheduling in rest days gives your body the time it needs to recover and improve.

Scheduling in rest days gives your body the time it needs to recover and improve

3. It takes 12 weeks of an exercise routine before you start to see measurable changes to your body.

It takes 12 weeks of an exercise routine before you start to see measurable changes to your body

Naturally, the rate at which you notice changes varies depending on your body, type of workouts and how often you work out.

  • The key to achieving a change in your appearance is working out regularly so exercise becomes an essential part of your day.[8]

4. Music can inadvertently get you moving faster during those tough workouts.

Music can inadvertently get you moving faster during those tough workouts

Additionally, music is a good form of distraction. The right music varies person to person, but tempo and rhythm response tend to be the key factors for staying motivated.[9]

Research dates back to 1911, when cyclists were found to pedal faster while a band was playing music.[10]

5. Optimal fitness requires a balanced exercise routine that incorporates aerobic, strength training and flexibility exercises.

Optimal fitness requires a balanced exercise routine that incorporates aerobic, strength training and flexibility exercises

The associated benefits of these three types of exercise provide varying benefits for health and longevity.

By increasing your heart rate through aerobic exercises you oxygenate the body to improve heart and brain health.

Strength training builds muscle mass, which in turn burns fat. Additionally, it’s been proven to promote cognitive function.[11]

In order to perform everyday activities with ease, flexibility is required. By stretching regularly, practicing yoga, or Pilates, you can prevent loss of mobility, decrease the chance of injury and improve your performance during exercise.[12]

MYTH:

“Morning is the best time to work out.”

Any time is a good time to exercise. So if you can’t force yourself to exercise before work, don’t sweat it.[13]

6. Setting a goal is proven to help you adhere to an exercise program.

Setting a Goal is Proven to Help You Adhere to an Exercise Program

Setting a process goal, as opposed to an outcome goal, is found to be particularly powerful.

So instead of saying “I want to lose 10 pounds”, you would set a goal such as “I want to exercise three times each week”.

Choosing a fitness journal can help you record your goals and keep you on track.

7. Fitness influencers have been shown through research to impact the health behaviours of young women.

Fitness Influencers Directly Impact the Health Behaviours of Young Women

The research focused on women in Poland aged between 18 and 35 years old.

If you want to discover fitness accounts and influencers to follow, we’ve compiled a shortlist of 10 of the best!

8. 84 million adults in the US use a health or fitness app.

84 Million Adults in the US Use a Health or Fitness App

Fitness at All Ages

Fitness is a lifelong goal and objective, which should start in childhood and continue into the later years of life.

1. Parents who exercise regularly are good fitness models for their children; this encourages children to lead a healthy lifestyle.[14]

Parents who exercise regularly are good fitness models for their children; this encourages children to lead a healthy lifestyle

2. Exercise is important from a young age.

Exercise is important from a young age

3. You’re never too old for exercise.

You’re never too old for exercise

4. People aged between 18 and 34 are the most likely to exercise.

People Aged Between 18 and 34 are The Most Likely to Exercise

Fitness statistics show that more than half of the people in this age group exercise at least three times a week.

5. Only half of Americans aged 12-21 years exercise vigorously on a regular basis.

Only half of Americans aged 12-21 years exercise vigorously on a regular basis

6. Teens who exercise decrease their chance of developing a glioma brain tumor by a third compared to those who do not exercise.

Teens who exercise decrease their chance of developing a glioma brain tumor by a third compared to those who do not exercise

MYTH:

“I must work out every day to see results.”

Exercising is important, but if you’re training hard you need to give your body time to recover.[15]

Battle of the Sexes

We all know that there are many differences between men and women. These differences also play out in physical composition and how our bodies respond to exercise.

1. Women are less likely to bulk up as a result of weight lifting. But this doesn’t mean they can’t look toned.

Women are less likely to bulk up as a result of weight lifting

2. Men have two-thirds more muscle mass compared to women.

Men have two-thirds more muscle mass compared to women

3. Men and women store fat very differently.

Men and Women Store Fat Very Differently

4. During workouts, women tend to burn more fat, but post-workout, men burn more fat.

During Workouts, Women Tend to Burn More Fat, but Post-Workout Men Burn More Fat

5. Couples who work out together are more likely to stay together.

Couples who work out together are more likely to stay together
  • Not only do you have a built-in workout partner who helps you achieve your fitness goals, but the benefits of working out together have positive effects on your relationship.

A study found that couples partaking in exercise together boosted the quality of their relationship.

Working out together combines ‘us time’ with exercise to slot into your busy schedule.

Fun Fitness Facts

Just to keep things light we’ve added some fun fitness facts that are sure to make you smile.

1. Even just a short bout of exercise can drastically improve your sex life!

Even Just a Short Bout of Exercise Can Drastically Improve Your Sex Life

Sex itself is a great form of exercise, with research showing that men can burn up to 101 calories!

2. The average person burns 50 calories every hour while they sleep!

You Burn 50 Calories Every Hour You’re Asleep

Get an early night and you’ll enjoy even more benefits than just burning calories!

3. 19% of Americans have lied about working out!

19% of Americans have lied about working out

4. The word ‘gymnasium’ comes from an Ancient Greek term meaning “school for naked exercise”.

The Word ‘Gymnasium’ Comes From an Ancient Greek Term Meaning “School for Naked Exercise”

5. You use roughly 200 muscles when you take a single step.

You Use About 200 Muscles When You Take a Single Step

Don’t underestimate even the smallest changes to your everyday routine, you might be using more muscles than you think!

Hungry for even more health and fitness facts?

We’ve got 70 Quick Health Facts covering food, fitness, hydration and more!

References

  1. Yeh, I. (2014). 6 fitness myths, busted (and 3 surprising facts) [Online]. Available from: https://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/21/health/fitness-myths-busted/index.html [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  2. American Council on Exercise (2013). Small steps to increase physical activity [Online]. Available from: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6765/small-steps-to-increase-physical-activity/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  3. The Good Body.com (2021). 12 Ways to Build Muscle WITHOUT Lifting Weights [Online]. Available from: https://www.thegoodbody.com/how-to-build-muscle-without-lifting-weights/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  4. Bjarnadotti, A. (2017). The 30 Best Ways to Get a Flat Stomach [Online]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/get-a-flat-stomach [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  5. Braverman, J. (2019). How Long Does it Take to Lose the Bulge and Get a Flat Stomach? [Online]. Available from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/544575-how-to-lose-the-bulge-and-get-a-flat-stomach-how-long-does-it-take/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  6. Ohkawara, K. et al. (2007). A dose-response relation between aerobic exercise and visceral fat reduction: systematic review of clinical trials [Online]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17637702/ [Accessed 20 January 2022].
  7. Sarnataro, B. (2008). Top 10 Fitness Facts [Online]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-benefits#1 [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  8. Maloney, L. (2019). How Long Does it Take to Change Your Body After Working Out? [Online]. Available from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/438047-how-long-does-it-take-to-change-your-body-after-working-out/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  9. Huffpost (2017). 7 Reasons You Should Listen To Music When You Work Out [Online]. Available from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-exercise-workout-music-playlist_n_4173931 [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  10. Jabr, F. (2013). Let's Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music [Online]. Available from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  11. Nagamatsu, L. et al. (2012). Resistance training promotes cognitive and functional brain plasticity in seniors with probable mild cognitive impairment: A 6-month randomized controlled trial [Online]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3514552/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  12. Titley, N. (2015). How it Impacts More than Your Muscles [Online]. Available from: https://www.npionline.org/articles/flexibility-how-it-impacts-more-than-your-muscles.htm [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  13. Davis, R. (2017). What is the best time of day to exercise? It’s not when you think. [Online]. Available from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-is-the-best-time-of-day-to-exercise-its-not-when-you-think/2017/06/16/2020c3ba-51cf-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  14. Forever Fit Kids (2018). Your Role as a Parent in Your Child’s Exercise Routine [Online]. Available from: https://foreverfitkids.com/exercise-programs/your-role-as-a-parent-in-your-childs-exercise-routine/ [Accessed 07 January 2022].
  15. Rosenbrock, K. (2015). Why Rest Days are Just as Important as Working Out [Online]. Available from: https://www.theactivetimes.com/why-rest-days-are-just-important-working-out [Accessed 07 January 2022].