The majority of Australians surveyed by Suncorp say the best types of exercise are the things we can do for free.
The majority of Australians surveyed by Suncorp say the best types of exercise are the things we can do for free. lzf

Running out of desire?

IT IS a month into the new year and all those firm resolutions made about becoming fitter may have started to wane a little. Former physiotherapist Torsten Becht said the biggest problem was that people expected too much too quickly when it came to their hard work being reflected in their physiques.

"Most people, when they start an exercise program, drop out in that four to six-week period before they really start to notice the difference," he said.

Mr Becht said it was important for exercisers to push through this period of non-result, and it was better to lose weight slowly than too quickly.

The keen cyclist also said it did not have to cost money to lose weight.

In a recent survey of more than 1500 Australians undertaken by Suncorp, 65% of respondents declared the best things in life were free when it came to fitness.

"Gym memberships are really expensive and there's so much more you can do," Mr Becht said.

"Go to the pool, go for a walk, or get a really simple pushbike. There's heaps of different ways to exercise or get physically active."

The survey also found that of those who did spend money on fitness, gym memberships were the biggest expense, with 91% of respondents spending up to $150 a month. Self-confessed gym lover Laura Caitlin Jensen, 26, said she enjoyed the group aspect of workouts. She embraced a better lifestyle about three years ago following a series of health problems that ended with her in hospital a couple of times.

"I started doing group workouts at different gyms, and then I got a job (in the fitness industry)," she said.

"My health has improved tenfold from working out. It's not only that, it's the community of people I have met - like-minded people who are so happy. It adds to your quality of life and that is priceless."

Suncorp representative Lynne Sutherland said that 35% of the survey's respondents were spending up to $1800 a year on fitness. "When it gets to that level of expenditure it's important that you are planning really well and budgeting as best as you can," she said.

The survey also found men spent more on their fitness goals than women.


  • Join a running group or find a friend with similar fitness goals
  • Buy a cheap pushbike
  • Go for a walk or swim in the pool or the ocean
  • Hiking has also become popular in the past year. Find some new nature walks, or revisit some old favourites

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