Two thirds of Brits are opting for calming workouts as they focus on fitness for health and mental wellbeing



Whilst over a third of Brits are engaging in physical activity several times a week, only one in ten people are doing team sports and two thirds are opting for low intensity, calming workouts such as yoga or walking with the main motivation being to ‘stay healthy’ shows new research by Readly digital magazine and newspaper app .

Over a third of people (39%) participate in fitness ‘several times a week’ and one in ten (14%) are working out every day or several times a day as the mental and welling benefits of regular physical activity are high on the agenda of Brits, showed the YouGov research of 2,000 adults.

Low intensity, calming fitness regimes such as yoga, brisk walking or hiking are the top workout activities amongst Brits with 79 percent of women and 63 percent of men choosing these cooling, low impact activities.

One in four people are opting for muscle focussed workouts such as weight lifting or high intensity exercise such as running to raise the heart rate. Weight lifting is most popular amongst men with a third of men (33%) and one in five (20%) women choosing weight training as the benefits of strength training are well documented. 27 percent of men and 19 percent of women said high intensity training is their regime of choice.

However, only one in ten people are doing team sports as part of their fitness routine with sports such as football, basketball, rugby or hockey being popular with 14 percent of men and just 6 percent of women.

“Our health and fitness category is always a hot topic to read about with the latest trends, research, reports and expert tips. It’s interesting to see that people are opting for low impact activities as they perhaps seek relaxation and mindfulness to deal with the demands of modern day living. Fitness and meditation are hot topics on our platform as people seek to be their best self and get fit and ready for summer, whilst taking a more all rounded, holistic approach to their wellbeing”, says Ranj Begley, UK MD and Chief Content Officer at Readly.

When it comes to motivation for fitness, the top five reasons people engage in fitness are:

         To stay healthy - 58%

         To loose weight - 17%

         For mental health reasons such a stress relief - 10%

         To gain muscle - 5%

         To meet other people - 2%

Whilst many are working out to relieve stress, other sources of stress relief are listening to music (66%), spending time with friends and family (52%) and reading magazines, books and newspapers (50%). Others are having sex (20%) and meditating (13%) to relieve stress, showed the Readly app research.

Friends and family are the main source of fitness inspiration with 35 percent of people saying they gain their workout inspiration from a friend or family member. Social media influencers such as YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram inspire one in five people (21%) and this is highest amongst 18- 29 year olds at 42 percent and 30-39 year olds at 32 percent.

Other sources of inspiration are online (18%), TV streaming (8%), team mates (8%) and specialist magazines (3%).

And a rising number of people are also combining exercise with entertainment to make working out more engaging. Almost two thirds of people (68%) believe that consuming entertainment whilst they workout such as listening to a podcast or music, reading a magazine or book or watching a video helps to keep them stay motivated.

The Readly app is a great source of fitness and wellbeing inspiration with many titles to read alongside the 7,700 titles as part of the unlimited digital reading subscription. Visit for more inspiration.




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Research: The survey was carried out with a sample of 2004 adults across the UK, during the period from 23-29th April of 2024 via the Internet, on the basis of the YouGov Panel.

About Readly
Readly is the European category leader for digital magazines. The company offers a digital subscription service that gives customers unlimited access to 7,700 magazines and newspapers. Readly has subscribers in more than 50 countries and content available in 17 different languages. In collaboration with 1200 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitising the magazine and newspaper industry. In 2023, revenues amounted to SEK 677 million. The Readly share is listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. For more information, please visit