While the desire to live an active lifestyle and increase your fitness may be universal, the trends and mentalities about working out throughout the world are sometimes as culturally diverse from one country to another as the cuisine. Read on to find out how people prefer to stay in shape across the globe!
Yoga reigns supreme
More than 2 billion people around the world practice yoga, which is a pretty powerful statistic. Originating in India, yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that is now found in every corner of the world, on the corner of every trendy block in most major U.S. cities, and of course in your ClassPass app. From the beaches of the Caribbean to the mountaintops of National Parks, yogis can be found perfecting their downward dog and getting into their Vinyasa flow, making this form of exercise one of the most commonly practiced in the world and across cultures.
Americans and Australians are the most likely to work out when traveling
According to a survey conducted by Expedia, which surveyed more than 7,000 residents from seven countries, 55 percent of Australians believe it is important to exercise while traveling, and Americans came in a close second place at 53 percent. Conversely, the French are least likely to want to break a sweat while they relax, or to expect fitness offerings at their hotel while traveling. Of those surveyed who reported wanting to exercise while on vacay, top reasons included wanting to balance with indulgence of foods, and using exercise such as walking, running or biking to explore a new destination.
Women overall prefer group classes, while men prefer team sports
Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, especially when it comes to breaking a sweat. It’s no coincidence that more often than not, when you look around in your ClassPass classes, men are outnumbered by women. That’s because women generally prefer group fitness classes like pilates, yoga, boot camp, and kickboxing, while men prefer exercise from a team sport environment. Men love and thrive off of the competitive aspect of team sports, while women have a more balanced approach to fitness, penciling in time for both strength and cardio throughout their weekly gym regimens. Women also prefer and excel at fitness classes that encourage toning, flexibility, balance, and coordination — sometimes even dance-based workouts like Zumba. While men still turn out for boot-camp style workouts, women still dominate most of the other classes out there.
In China, fitness is a little bit slower and softer
Public parks in China are full of senior citizens perfecting their tai chi practice. Tai chi, the ancient Chinese slow-moving exercise, originally evolved from a form of martial arts, and is widely touted among the Chinese for its many health benefits, including boosting the immune system, improving balance, and more. Alternatively, line dancing and ballroom dancing are also extremely popular fitness picks among Chinese women — as are brisk walking and yoga. The mindset of many Chinese women couldn’t be more different than that of Western women. In the Western world, there’s more of this idea of “no pain, no gain,” with rigorous, high-intensity workouts that leave you drenched in sweat. On the other hand, in China, modern fitness centers have only been on the rise in recent years, so more extreme forms of working out have yet to become as mainstream.
Boxing and barre are big favorites in the UK
So much so, that some studios are even combining them into workout. UK gals are loving the dynamic duo of ballet-inspired fitness and fight-club-esque cardio, as more and more boutique studios for these classes pop up all over the country. On top of that, women in England are catching onto the idea of fitness over being thin, realizing that strength workouts will help them look and feel their best.
Canadians like to keep it classic
In Canada, fitness fanatics are less likely to go to extremes or over-complicate things. According to a survey by Fitbit, the maker of wearable fitness trackers, running, biking, and strength training are the most logged fitness activities by Canadian users. However, it’s also worth noting that due to the snowy weather, snow shoveling, skiing, skating, and snow-shoeing are also frequently reported. More than 70 percent of those studied cited walking as one of their top fitness activities. Sometimes all you need to do is put one foot in front of the other!