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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!
Did you know you can make mouth-watering “fake” cheese with macadamia nuts? Yes, macadamia nuts. If you’re craving that creamy consistency but your stomach isn’t down for dairy, try out this recipe inspired by Simple Vegan Blog!
Once taken out of the oven, it’s ready to serve. It will be difficult to transfer – so if you can decorate the pan and serve directly on it with crackers and veggies that’s what I recommend.