The so called ‘gym bunny’ is in decline, according to a report released by Decathlon. So where are women turning for their fitness fix?
Women are ditching the gym in favour of other forms of exercise, according to a landmark study into the UK’s exercise habits.
A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults, published by sports equipment retailer Decathlon in the Decathlon Activity Index 2018, shows that more than half of women (53%) regularly go swimming.
This beat the gym to the top spot the most popular form of exercise for women, with fewer than half of those surveyed (46%) claiming to use the gym regularly.
Meanwhile, more than one-in-three women (34%) said they get involved with cycling as a form of exercise.
Yoga and Pilates are also popular fitness activities for women, coming in fourth place, closely followed by running, which rounded off the list of top five sports women regularly take part in.
‘The rise of the gym bunny is something we have seen propel in popularity in the sport industry over the last two years,’ says Philippe Rebelo, UK Marketing Director at Decathlon.
Swimming can tone and strengthen muscles and is a great way of decreasing stress and anxiety
‘However, our research shows swimming is favoured as the number one sport for women. This isn’t surprising given the advantages of this sport – swimming can tone and strengthen muscles and is a great way of decreasing stress and anxiety.
‘Not only this, but swimming is one of the sports that the UK has been successful competing in thanks to talent like Ellie Simonds and Rebecca Adlington.’
Gym-based exercise is still the most popular form of exercise among men, however.
The Decathlon Activity Index tracks rates of participation in sport and other physical activities across the year through a monthly, national survey.