New research by Very reveals interest in health and fitness boomed this January, with searches for products like exercise bikes up as much as 58% on the previous six months, as consumers knuckled down on their New Year’s Resolutions.
Residents of Durham are amongst some of the UK’s most fitness conscious, viewing sports and fitness products on Very in greater numbers than residents of far bigger cities like Belfast and Edinburgh.
The e-commerce business analysed trends relating to nearly three quarters of a million searches undertaken on its site for the month of January and found that interest in many home exercise products has outstripped July to December levels for the past three years, including 2021’s lockdown period when consumer interest in fitness was thought to be at some of its highest levels.
Treadmills were the most searched for sport and leisure product on Very’s site in January, up 7% on A/W 2021 and 27% on A/W 2019.
Exercise bikes were the second most searched for product, up 58% on A/W 2021 and 36% on pre-pandemic levels (A/W 19) for the same period. They were followed by weights, which were up 29% on A/W 2021 and 10% on A/W 2019.
As expected, January 2022 searches for the most popular keywords were down against the six months of autumn/winter 2020 when interest in home exercise was at its peak. However, January 2022’s numbers are still significantly higher than the average monthly breakdown of AW20.
The top 30 locations for views of Very’s sports & leisure pages is dominated by the UK’s major cities, with London taking top spot and accounting for 8.51% of total views. They are followed by residents of Birmingham (2.86%) and Glaswegians (2.51%).
However, one much smaller location, Durham, also made it into the top 30, suggesting that it is one of the most fitness obsessed places in the UK. Despite being the UK’s 192 nd largest urban area with a population of only 51,837, it came seventh for sports & leisure page views (1.31%).
Walsall, the UK’s 133 rd largest town with a population of 71,665, was also inside the top 30 in 23 rd place, charting higher than larger locations like Plymouth and Peterborough with a share of 0.60% of overall searches.
A spokesperson for Very’s search marketing team, said: “The boom in health and fitness has been a well-documented by-product of the pandemic.
“What our research shows is that, despite restrictions beginning to ease, interest in keeping fit at home is higher than it has been in recent years. Our figures reveal an unprecedented jump in searches for products like treadmills and exercise bikes in the month of January, outstripping the whole six-month autumn winter period of 2021.
“Looking at the picture nationally, while many of the UK’s largest cities have the biggest share of sports products views on our site, smaller cities like Durham also chart highly, suggesting that the cathedral city in the North East is one of the most sports and fitness mad in the country.
“We’ve also compiled some of our top tips for getting fit in 2022”
Make a plan
Create a clear set of goals. Whatever your motivations, make sure you know what you want to accomplish and set an execution plan. If the plan works, great. If it doesn’t, be flexible and think about ways of changing it for the better.
Tech can help
Think about how tech can help you monitor your progress and achieve your goals. Fitness trackers are one obvious solution but you could also benefit from things such as wake up lights – to get help you get out of bed for those early morning workouts – and calorie tracking apps.
Make exercise entertaining
If you’re one of those people that views exercise as a chore rather than a joy, think of ways to make it more entertaining. It could be listening to a podcast while you’re out on a run, watching the TV while you’re on your exercise bike, or meeting up with mates to play football. If you enjoy your exercise, you’re more likely to stick with it.
Don’t overdo it
Whatever type of exercise you’re doing, set manageable goals to avoid injury and fatigue.
Get your nutrition right
Exercise alone isn’t going to help you get fitter: a healthy, balanced diet is a prerequisite that fuels your workouts and ensures that you don’t lose any of your hard-earned gains.