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More than 52%¹ of men in the UK believe it’s important to look physically attractive.
But, new research¹ conducted by MINDBODY reveals that looking good may not be the only reason many men return to the gym again and again.
- On an average day, 35% of men would rate their overall happiness/mental wellbeing at 3/5, 5 being most content.
- Thirty-one percent of men are somewhat anxious or stressed daily.
Before this year’s Men’s Health Week, MINDBODY researchers set out to determine the reasons why men in the UK initially signed up to the gym and whether their reasons changed after attending.
1. Increase their overall fitness levels (64%).
2. Build muscle (35%).
3. Make healthier choices throughout the day/week e.g., food/drink (28%).
4. Help their mental health (25%).
5. Increase their confidence (25%).
Sixty-four percent of men said their motives for continuing to go to a gym didn’t change, while 29% had changed somewhat, and 7% said their reasons had changed completely.
1. Increase their fitness levels (29%).
2. Make healthier choices throughout the day/week (26%).
3. Keep on top of their mental health (17%).
With men whose reasons had changed for going to the gym still showing an interest in keeping their mental health on track, MINDBODY researchers did a deeper dive into men’s attitudes toward their emotional wellbeing.²
They found that, on an average day, 13% would rate their overall happiness or mental wellbeing at 5/5 (5 being content) compared to 35% who would rate it at 3/5. As a result, 31% are somewhat anxious or stressed daily.
"As people progress in exercise, they begin to develop stronger, faster, and more coordinated muscles which help build their confidence as they grow,” said Nick Davies, Sports Performance Mind Coach at NDSP. “What's more, exercise, like any endeavor, has its fair share of ups and downs and we learn, or reinforce, that losing is not the end, but something you strive to overcome, and this is where you develop mental strength.
Whatever activity you choose to participate in, make sure you enjoy it. The enjoyment side of exercise contributes to the endorphins that the brain releases, which has an extremely positive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing."
Physical movement became medicine for Leon Taylor, Olympic Silver Medalist, after the family doctor labelled him a ‘problem’ child’ due to his hyperactivity, he said.
“My parents would attempt to tire me out, so I did all the physical activity I could for my age. Then something magical happened; I became easier to manage. It’s widely known the negative effects of inactivity on someone’s physical health and the associated risk of disease, but what is concerning to me is the link between inactivity and someone’s mental health,” says Taylor.
“As MINDBODY’s research indicates, feeling anxious and overwhelmed is so commonplace today. I’d argue that we spend too much time stuck in our heads and not enough in our bodies, as overthinking can lead to psychological stress. When we start to move, our brain releases a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) to protect us from stress; at the same time, endorphins are released. BDNF acts as a reset switch, which is why we often feel so at ease after moving. Long-term, consistent physical movement changes the structure of our brain, boosts self-esteem, and decreases biological action to psychological stress, which is an enemy to mental health. Physical movement is our best weapon to respond.”
Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, comments on the research findings:
“It’s no secret that there is a stigma around men being hesitant to speak about their mental health. However, whilst our research reveals that a third of men would only rate their overall happiness/mental wellbeing at 3/5, it’s great to see that men realise the fantastic benefits exercise can have on their wellbeing, both physically and mentally!”
Looking to boost your body and mind? Download the MINDBODY app or explore new fitness on MINDBODY.io!
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.