Monday 26 September 2016

The facts about our fitness fads

Published 28/01/2016 | 02:30

Ignite’s Jenny Mullins
Ignite’s Jenny Mullins

Being eager to shape up after the excesses of the festive season is high on many people's new year wish lists. From walking to team sports, cycling to yoga, weight loss and personal fitness are priorities.

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A study by Ignite Research shows 78pc of Irish adults walked regularly last year, with 15pc intending to take to it in 2016.

Regular walkers are typically health-conscious women, with one in three going for a brisk stroll every day. Over half of them say they are a healthy weight. Most adults taking up walking this year are men living in rural Connacht and Ulster. One in five of them regard themselves as 'not very healthy' and smoke - while 40pc pay little heed to what they eat.

Ignite's Jenny Mullins, pictured right, says 167,400 adults worked out with a personal trainer last year. The figure is due to almost double to 300,000 in 2016. Men have used personal trainers more up to now but the scene is set to change, with a definite bias towards 25 to 34-year-old urban dwellers.

Ignite says a third of those planning to take up personal training sessions this year are single. One in three Irish adults claims to have always cycled, while a further 14pc intend to start this year. Cycling tends to be most popular among 18 to 44-year-old males. But Mullins says middle-aged-men-in-lycra don't show up much, with 45-year-olds and older adults less inclined to cycle regularly.

Those wishing to get back on the saddle co-habit with a partner and are less likely to be single. Bikes made for two, a market for tandems here perhaps? One in five adults have been involved in organised sport over time, with 6pc planning to take up some activity. This cohort is 22pc more male and 18pc more likely to be aged 18 to 44.

Munster scores best when it comes to those who have played sport regularly, while Dublin is where most of those hoping to take up team sports live. Mullins says the bias towards rural Ireland for ongoing sports activity may have something to do with the GAA's strength in communities. One in seven Irish people have practised yoga for some time, while one in six are on for giving it a go this year.

Yogis are much more likely to be women, home keepers with young children. Those taking up yoga and pilates are 13pc more likely to be aged 18-24 and living in Dublin. They are educated professionals in need of an escape from their busy routines. A third of regular yogis regard themselves as 'very healthy', exercise daily and are more conscious of their mental well-being than the average adult.

* TV3 will soon announce its full line-up of guest chefs for the new series of The Restaurant. Already confirmed as apron wearers charged with cooking fine fare for critical diners are former Everton and Republic of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane and ex-model and fashion blogger Pippa O'Connor. The series was shot in Marco Pierre White's Courtyard Bar & Grill in Donnybrook in leafy Dublin 4. German discounter Lidl is again the series' sponsor.

Foodie Tom Doorley will join the Englishman famous for his Knorr stock cube ads and a new guest critic each week. Despite his rock 'n roll star looks, Pierre White says his lifestyle has never been extravagant or glamourous. "I'm not comfortable in the spotlight," he told TV3's Planit magazine. To win three Michelin stars, restaurants become your life. Pierre White is pictured with maitre'd John Healy - who could pass as Graham Norton's brother.

* An Post is calling for campaign entries to its annual Smart marketing awards. Fiona Heffernan, head of mail media at An Post, says only stand-out work should be entered for the 'Foxes'.

The awards come under headings such as industry impact, craft and cross category prizes like top marketing team and agency of the year. The entry fee is €150, with the same submission in each extra category costing €80. Entries must be in by 5pm on March 15.

The black tie awards gala night moves to a new venue this year, transferring from the Mansion House to the InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge on April 21. No doubt, the partying will go on in the hotel's Ice Bar until the early hours. This year's judges include Davy's director of brand and market strategy, Paul Farrell; Lisa Browne, Electric Ireland; Fundraising Ireland CEO Lucy Masterson and Core Media boss Alan Cox, pictured above left.

* AdLib has learned that Arnotts will sign up today as the official retail partner for the Audi Dublin International Film Festival. Now in its 14th year, the festival's title sponsor was previously Pernod Ricard's Jameson whiskey. The in-store and digital tie-up will see an Arnotts special screening of Time Out of Mind, with actor Richard Gere flying in for the event.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie: cullen@marketing.ie    

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