Image source: Polar

Polar data shows how we are exercising during the lockdown

Polar has released statistics that show how exactly people are managing to stay active during the current coronavirus lockdown. A rapid shift in exercise habits is obvious.

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Yes, we know the social distancing measures mean you might not be able to do your usual fitness route. But that’s no excuse to lounge on the sofa.

Interestingly, new Polar data reveals that we are moving more of our exercise outdoors. The company looked at its wide database of users across the US and Germany to reach this conclusion. The figures for this year were compared to the same period in 2019.

Based on anonamized data, the shift from indoor to outdoor workouts can be seen in March as compared to February. This is, most likely, due to gyms shutting down. The good news is that we are exercising no less than before the lockdown.

Specifically, in the US outdoor workouts increased by 13% in March while indoor workouts fell by 27% as compared to the same period last year.

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In Germany the shift was seen more evident. A decline of 35% was seen in indoor workouts, accompanied by a 29% increase in outdoor workouts. This is possibly because Germany was hit by the pandemic hard a few weeks before the US.

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As far as exercise types, activities that showed a marked decline, according to Polar, include treadmill running, cross-training, strength training and indoor cycling. Not too much of a surprise there. In the US, this was accompanied by an increase in outdoor running and cycling of 13% and 19% respectively.

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Similarly, in Germany activities such as jogging (57%), cycling (44%) and hiking (28%) showed a strong increase. The shift here started in early March whereas in the US it started later in the month. Mountain biking was especially popular amongst the Germans, more than doubling between February and March.

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All of this shows that staying active even under lockdown is possible. If there’s a will there’s a way.

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