Americans Are Exercising Less and Eating More Carbs During Pandemic, Survey Finds

Americans Are Exercising Less and Eating More Carbs During Pandemic, Survey Finds

Two-thirds of Americans say they are going easier on themselves mentally and physically in the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to new research.

A new study revealed 65 percent say they are taking time off from their fitness routine to “let themselves go a bit” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and half say they have freed themselves from the stress of achieving their summer body goals for 2020.

The survey of 2,000 Americans who routinely exercise found nearly two-thirds admitted the COVID-19 quarantine has allowed them to not worry about maintaining a perfect fitness routine.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Naked Nutrition, found Americans have increased their consumption of refined carbohydrates like pastries, white bread and pasta. Fifty-four percent have still made an effort to eat their veggies, while 46 percent have increased the amount of protein they consume.

Due to the quarantine measure, 64 percent have felt compelled to try an in-home exercise routine. The most popular methods to keep moving in isolation included outdoor walks (48 percent), exercise apps (46 percent), and health and exercise websites (44 percent).

Forty-one percent have participated in a live stream workout class, while 2 in 5 have used pre-taped exercise videos.

In order to create their own home gym, 54 percent have ordered workout equipment. Dumbbells (48 percent) and yoga mats (45 percent) were revealed to be the top isolation exercise equipment respondents are using.

Forty-one percent have been spinning on a stationary bike, and 38 percent have been using ankle weights.

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Some respondents have been more creative in their home exercise routine: 39 percent have been using chairs in their workouts, and a third are making use of the walls of their homes.

Still, 70 percent don’t think their at-home exercises are nearly as effective as their pre–COVID-19 routines.

"The COVID-19 has been a stressful time for many, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can support a person's overall health and should remain a priority," said registered dietitian nutritionist Lauren Manaker. "This data highlights the importance of finding simple solutions for people to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while in isolation."

"Many items that support a healthy lifestyle, like high-quality and clean supplements, exercise accessories like resistance bands, and even workout clothes, can be purchased online and delivered right to a person's doorstep," added Manaker. "Swapping out unhealthy habits and replacing them with good choices is a step that many Americans should be taking."

Many respondents have been staying on top of their healthy lifestyles in other ways.

One in two takes multivitamins regularly and 44 percent eat protein bars, while 43 percent add protein powder to their diet. Three in five said they typically buy their supplements from an in-store retailer, but 58 percent buy direct from their brand-of-choice’s website.

“Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats are a great way to maintain muscle mass while gyms remain unavailable," added Stephen Zieminski, founder of Naked Nutrition. "However, when your workouts are not as effective, it's critical to cut out unhealthy artificial flavors and refined sugars. Supplements should have easily understood ingredients — and as few of them as possible.”

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