Manchester has been crowned the UK’s fittest city during the pandemic

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A recent study has revealed which UK cities have remained the most active throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

And Manchester has come out on top.

According to the latest research by TechTalk (Garmin x Currys PC World), Mancunians were said to exercise 2.54 times a week, with 41% of us training three to six times a week, and 15% working out one or two times every seven days.

The survey also saw half of us claim to live a moderately or very active lifestyle – with 35-44-year-olds most likely to describe their lifestyle as “very active” – and at the other end of the scale, 22% admitted to living a somewhat or very sedentary lifestyle.

Liverpudlians are the second fittest people in the UK, with London coming third place.

When it comes to the age groups consulted for the research, the survey found that millennials work out the most by averaging 3.1 times a week – compared with a national average of 2.3 times, and that’s not all either, as when gyms and fitness centres were first forced closed for lockdown back in March 2020, those of us in the North West were also the most likely to swap it for great outdoors.

Another title Manchester can be proud to claim.

Unsplash / Amy Humphreys

Health and fitness expert Lee Cain – Managing Director of HFE (Health and Fitness Education) – is a big advocate for using exercise to boost mental wellbeing, especially over this past year, saying: “Aside from the physical benefits of physical activity and exercise, there are also a profound number of mental and emotional benefits, including reduced stress, anxiety and a more stable mood”.

He also revealed there are plenty of ways to stay fit at home during lockdown too.

“There are lots of things that you can do around the house, like a virtual yoga or Pilates class, some online Zumba, or even just an old school aerobics class, [and] YouTube is full of programmes like these that you can do for free.” he said.

He also believes that when it comes to effective exercise, it’s important to keep trying different things that you may not have originally thought of.

“With exercise, variety is necessary in order to prevent boredom, staleness and plateaus in progress.”

“If, over-time, you perform the same exercises, in the same order and at the same or similar intensities, the body will find ways of meeting those demands with less [and] that means that every time you exercise, you burn fewer calories, so it’s important to keep mixing things up so the body is forced to continually adapt.”

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And it doesn’t have to be traditional exersice you get stuck into to feel the benefits either.

Lee continues: “Whether it’s cleaning windows, gardening, making beds, walking the dog, ironing, mopping or sweeping the floor, the amount of energy expended while performing these tasks can be some four to five times greater than that at rest”.

Other everyday tasks that can also burn calories include ironing, baking and sleeping, and did you know that you can even burn calories more rapidly when you take a hot bath thanks to your body temperature rising, although Lee explains that it’s important to recognise that exercise and physical activity are not the same thing and that “their effects as far as ‘calorie burning’ is concerned, can be equal, but not the same”.

He continued: “Exercise is a structured form of physical activity that is usually performed with the goal of improving one or more aspects of fitness, whereas physical activity is a little more general, and may simply include walking up the stairs.”

We know lockdown is hard – but keep going Manchester.

You can read the research in full and access more tips and advice from Lee Cain via the TechTalk website here.

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