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Easter – The beginning of the end for exercise routines

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Regular exercise training is one of the most important foundations for achieving long-term health and fitness goals. Ideally, exercise should become part of your daily routine. Accordingly, 90% of people who regularly exercise state that they always exercise in fixed places or at fixed times, however, one of the dangers of established exercise habits is holidays. They can divert you from your daily routine and even have a negative effect on your attitude and motivation.

Danish researchers recently published a study investigating the effect of the Easter holidays on exercise habits. In the study, they analysed the visit data of more than 1,200 members of a fitness studio chain who had been regularly active for at least three months. The researchers investigated a time period of twenty weeks, which included the ten weeks before and after the Easter holidays.

They concluded that nearly half of the participants exercised less regularly and about 20% more frequently during the Easter week. Immediately afterwards, however, the exercise frequency reduced by up to 12% overall. In the following weeks it was also observed that people did not return to their previous routines, but instead continued to exercise less.

From their findings, the researchers postulated that even short interruptions can have a negative effect on exercise routines and could be the starting point for a permanent reduction in physical activity. One cause for this reduction in training frequency is the lack of time, due to activities with family and friends during the holidays. For the long-term effect on the other hand, they blame the change on established exercise routines and suggest that these can be relatively vulnerable to impairment.

Throughout the year, there are always events that disrupt regular routines. Along with holiday periods, these events also include vacations and periods of injury. It has been proven several times that increased calorie intake on holidays leads to weight gain. Current findings also show that a reduction in physical activity is another negative influence on body weight. Therefore, time off work and the time thereafter are especially critical for the exercise routine. Knowledge about the possible long-term effects contributes to raising awareness of these phases and can limit the negative consequences. Ultimately, it is the regularity of physical activity that is crucial for long-term success.

Image 1 © “sonyachny” / Adobe Stock

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