Exercise

Brits start to prioritise good health over good looks aged 32

Chloe Best

There are many reasons people adopt a fitness routine - whether it's feeling more confident on holiday or training for a marathon - and it appears what we hope to achieve from our workouts shifts dramatically as we get older.

New research from Virgin Active has revealed that the age of 32 is when Brits start exercising for their health rather than their looks. Among the Brits polled, 58 per cent of those under 25 stated "looking good" as their main motivation for working out, while 55% of people aged 25-34 said they would rather look slim and toned in their holiday photos than be fit enough to run a marathon.

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Brits typically exercise for health rather than appearance when they reach 32

This number dropped dramatically within the older age groups, with 36% of participants aged 35 and over stating that appearance was their main priority for working out. Other motivators included stress relief, staying healthy and even to socialise with friends, with 15% of under 25s saying they visit the gym because their friends do.

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The study also focused on the amount of time Brits spend exercising each week, with the national average being 4.3 hours per week. This rose among people over the age of 55, who spent an average of 4.8 hours a week working up a sweat.

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Many Brits said looking good is their motivation to exercise

The results echo comments made from Elle Macpherson in a recent interview, claiming that she prioritises wellbeing over weight now she is in her fifties. "At 52, I now know that a healthy mind and body is a balance of nutrition, exercise, intuition, experience and love, I really believe that," Elle told Your Fitness magazine. "I'm less concerned about the number on the scales or what dress size I wear now compared to when I was younger."