Fitness Reads: Americans exercising less in 2013, take the 'work' out of working out

Read about how Americans are getting less exercise this year versus last and how to take the work out of working out.

What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out!

  • 2013 was off to a good start for some fitness retailers, as shown by our annual FitBiz Report. But we might need to do more to motivate our customers and customers-to-be. This Huffington Post story reports that Americans are exercising less in 2013 than they were in 2012, both in the aerobic and strength categories. In a Gallup Pool conducted in April 2013, 52.4 percent of Americans said they exercised for at least a half hour three days a week; in April 2012, 53.9 percent of Americans said they exercised with the same frequency.
  • That fact that we’re exercising less this spring isn’t a total surprise. According to this CBS story, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 80 percent of Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of exercise. The CDC formed its conclusion after collecting data from more than 450,000 U.S. adults (aged 18 and older). The recommended amount isn’t even that high: 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic exercise — or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise — per week.
  • Here’s yet another reason to get more female customers to start exercising: According to this Times of India story, exercise helps women fight osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.5 million women aged 50 and older have osteoporosis of the hip. The best exercises, the article said, were balance and strength training.
  • A few retailers we contacted for our FitBiz Report said that they’re seeing increased commercial sales by outfitting senior housing complexes and nursing homes. Although data shows that working out can ease symptoms of depression, this PsychCentral article said that seniors who work out alone don’t get that benefit. So if you’re one of the retailers who’s setting up these facilities, perhaps suggest buddy exercises residents could do together.
  • A few weeks back, we told you how regular exercise helped offset brain damage done by alcohol. That’s not the only good exercise does for the brain, according to this Chicago Tribune story. It reports that exercise helps prevent brain degeneration like dementia, Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment, which is most often a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Another reason to get those seniors and baby boomers exercising.
  • The outdoor industry is starting to understand the benefits of CrossFit-like workouts. We’ve been hearing an awful lot about mountain athletes cross training for better performance by doing things like functional training and CrossFit-like workouts. Even big companies like Inov-8 and now The North Face are developing products for these workouts, which can shred a normal pair of running shoes. Check out this YouTube video for a workout for mountain climbers and see what accessories these folks will need for their workouts.
  • We’d always heard the old adage: Couples who pray together, stay together — but turns out, it’s “couples who run together, have fun together and subsequently stay together.” According to this Brooks blog post, couples reported more bedroom time after running five or more miles together. Plus, they had more communication, solved problems and just generally got warm and cozy toward one another. His and hers treadmills, anyone?
  • Let’s make a pact: Let’s stop calling it “working out” and start calling it “playing.” Nobody wants to be all work and no play. This Canada AM story reports different ways we can take the work out of exercise and infuse it with fun, by doing things like hula hooping and roller blading and other stuff we did as kids. We know there are weighted hula hoops on the market, we’ve seen them at IHRSA, but tell us some of your favorite products for having fun with exercise!
  • Speaking of having fun while getting fit, Impact Fitness, a website that offers fun, instructional videos and nutrition and fitness information, is looking for funny videos for its Facebook fan page. Check out this story for more information.
  • If yoga can help us look anything like Jennifer Aniston, we need to stop putting off that 6 a.m. class and start being more devoted. This story features Aniston’s 20-year romance with yoga and how it’s helped her be more toned, centered and navigate all the rough times in her life. That’s it. We start yoga tomorrow morning.

Did you read anything interesting this weekend? Send it to us because we want to check it out!