Is this the end of 'no pain, no gain'?

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

More than half of Brits are ditching the mantra of 'no pain, no gain' for more enjoyable routes to health and fitness.

As part of its new Feelgood Health campaign, AXA health has commissioned several studies to better understand the wants and behaviours of its customers.

This study, which surveyed 2,000 people across the country, reveals an evolving attitude across the country toward what is meant by, and what is needed to achieve, overall wellbeing.

Of all respondents, 8 in 10 reported that enjoyment was the key to wellbeing, while 39% stated that 'doing what you love' was vital.

Four in 10 believe that good mental health is the foundation to good physical health, and 55% think that a 'no pain, no gain' attitude is unnecessary for getting fit.

Those that prescribe to so-called 'old school' health mantras were fewer in number. Just over 1 in 6 believe strenuous exercise is still important, and around 1 in 4 believe 'healthy' can only be used if a person regularly runs or pushes themselves with tough workouts.

“Health means something different to all of us, only you know what makes you feel good,” says Dr Annabel Bentley, chief medical officer for AXA Health. “It might mean going for regular runs, or it might be borrowing the neighbour’s dog for a walk. It could be gentle stretching or meditation or simply taking time to sit somewhere quietly and switch your mind – and phone – off.”

The research comes as many people across the country are looking for ways to better manage their mental wellbeing during periods of lockdown, with resulting booms being seen in daily joggers and online training classes.

The changing attitude toward mental wellbeing was reflected in another recent survey by AXA Health as 1 in 3 Europeans now prioritise their mental health more than ever before.

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