By Victoria McNally // SWNS
Nearly one in five believe their metabolism has slowed during the COVID-19 crisis — and more than half are convinced that the crisis has altered their metabolism for good.
That’s according to a recent survey of 2,000 people, which asked respondents to describe how living through the pandemic has physically affected not just their health but their relationship to their own physical bodies.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of V Shred Fitness, the survey also suggests that this confusion may be linked to how much the pandemic has disrupted their usual level of activity.
Prior to 2020, the typical respondent worked out three days a week, most commonly using ellipticals and treadmills (49%) or weight machines (41%).
However, only 40% of those polled believe they’ve been able to maintain their pre-pandemic fitness levels; for example, respondents with step counters say they’re taking an average of 1570 fewer steps than they used to each day.
Almost one in four (28%) believe their weight has increased, including those with access to scales (29%), who’ve reported gaining an average of 10 pounds overall.
Out of those who monitor their resting heart rate, a third (35%) say it’s increased over 10 bpm on average, which some medical professionals worry can hurt overall cardiovascular health.
And of course, it’s impacting Americans’ diets, too; 40% are eating more food now than they did at the start of the pandemic.
But overall, 45% believe that the amount of exercise they do is what’s having the biggest negative impact on their metabolism, followed by a lack of resources (36%), lack of support (35%) and their current diet (35%).
“No one has lived through anything like this before, so it’s good for us to remind ourselves that everyone, even our most elite scientists and doctors are still learning and understanding the human body,” said Vince Sant, spokesperson and co-founder of V Shred. “The best thing we can do is focus on what we can control, which means that taking care of our own health is more important now than ever before.
When asked about post-pandemic life, 43% of respondents said they’re afraid that they’ll never feel like themselves again.
Four in 10 now frequently experience feelings of detachment or disconnection from their physical bodies — for example, not having a strong sense of how tall they are or how much space they take up anymore.
Another 39% are worried that they’ll overexert or hurt themselves more easily when they do return to working out, and 27% worry that they’ve lost the motivation to stay active at all.
“Because we live in a world of all-or-nothing extremes, a lot of people think they need to be perfect, working out 2 hours a day, giving up all the foods they like and eating nothing but grilled chicken, broccoli and rice in order to be healthy.” Said Vince Sant. “But for most people, including me, that’s not sustainable. “
“People need to learn that health is really about consistency,” Sant added. “It’s more important to follow diet plans that focus on eating healthy the majority of the time rather than ALL the time — to add foods that speed up metabolism and be diligent with exercise, but also take time to rest and recover.”
However, while many don’t feel like themselves at the moment, they’re also less concerned with what others think, as only 15% are afraid that they’ll be judged for how their bodies have changed.
Which isn’t to say that self-improvement is a thing of the past: Given the choice, 29% of respondents still say they’d rather have a better body over a better love life (28%), a better salary (24%), or a better work/life balance (12%).
WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK IMPACTS THEIR BODY THE MOST?
- Age 39%
- Level of activity 38%
- Hormones 37%
- Anxiety 37%
- Lifestyle 36%
- Stress 30%
- Diet 25%
- The season 24%
- Genetics/family history 18%
- Medication 17%
- Chronic illness 13%