We all know that regular exercise provides a range of benefits. It improves mood and mental health, prevents disease and increases lifespan, helps us get more sleep and increases our energy.
Jawbone, a leading manufacturer of activity trackers, has recently published analysis of activity data from hundreds of thousands of members of its UP community who log workouts. The analysis aims to show how the owners of their devices exercise.
According to the study, UP users who consistently log at least 3 workouts a week tend to exercise at different times during the day than users who do not work out consistently. For the analysis comparing workout times of consistent/non-consistent people, someone was classified as “consistent” if they had worked out 3 or more times a week for 70% or more of all the weeks in the past year.
As the chart below shows, those who exercise early in the morning tend to be much more consistent.
The Jawbone study confirms conventional wisdom, that it is easier to maintain regular workout habits if you get your workout in during the early hours, due to increased willpower in the mornings and fewer distractions. The data clearly shows that planning your exercise for the evening, increases the chance that you may skip the workout session.
Jawbone provides us with some more interesting analysis. Users of their UP app have the facility to track their mood. They can log when they’re feeling “Amazing”, “Totally Done”, or anything in-between. Jawbone has sifted through this data to look into how working out effects our mood.
The conclusion is clear and to the point – those who workout are much happier. And, the more you work out, the happier you will be. When Jawbone further separated people by whether they had or hadn’t worked on a specific day, they also found that everyone, regardless of existing exercise frequency, is happier on days they do work out.
Finally, Jawbone also looked at workout patterns during different times of the day. Activities like running and weight-lifting show a spike between 6am and 9am in the morning, a midday dip, and another spike between 5pm and 6pm. Yoga and Pilates have larger spikes specifically at 9am and 6pm. Basketball and soccer are much more common in the after-work evening hours.
The benefits of regular exercise are clear. Try to set aside the recommended half an hour per day of any type of workout. And don’t forget those 10,000 steps.