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How the world likes to keep fit: Fascinating maps show how dance workouts are the globe’s No.1 type of exercise in 2024, while it’s pilates that’s top in the UK, America and Australia

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A series of fascinating reworked maps have revealed the most popular forms of exercise in countries around the world – and it’s dance workouts that are the globe’s No.1 way of keeping fit.

The maps, which include a main global map and regional breakdowns, are colour-coded to indicate the types of exercise each country’s residents like the most, with the results generated by an analysis of the types of exercise people are searching for most on Google, using a master list of 200 workouts.

‘Dancing’ is the top exercise search in 51 countries, including Finland, Egypt, Kenya, Botswana and Papua New Guinea.

Pilates is top in 40 countries, including the UK, Portugal, Poland, the U.S, Australia and New Zealand.

The research was conducted by PureGym, which said that ‘dancing is a fun and accessible way to get some exercise’.

A series of fascinating reworked maps have revealed the most popular forms of exercise in countries around the world – and it’s dance workouts that are the globe’s No.1 way of keeping fit

The maps are colour-coded to indicate the types of exercise each country’s residents like the most, with the results generated by an analysis of the types of exercise people are searching for most on Google

The maps are colour-coded to indicate the types of exercise each country’s residents like the most, with the results generated by an analysis of the types of exercise people are searching for most on Google

‘Dancing’ is the top exercise search in 51 countries, including Finland, Egypt , Kenya, Botswana and Papua New Guinea

‘Dancing’ is the top exercise search in 51 countries, including Finland, Egypt , Kenya, Botswana and Papua New Guinea

Georgia Boyle, personal trainer at PureGym Edinburgh, added: ‘Dance is a fantastic form of exercise for several reasons. Not only is it a fun full-body workout, but it’s also an amazing form of creative expression, stress relief, and above all, is a form of exercise that can bring people together.

‘Easily accessible for all ages, starting with dance is so easy – try a class either in person or at home, or even put some music on and dance around your house.

‘I think one of people’s biggest barriers with dance is feeling that they’ve “got two left feet” or won’t be a technical pro. However, getting yourself moving and enjoying the music is all that matters.’

On second-place pilates, PureGym explained for the uninitiated that it ‘focuses on improving strength, flexibility and balance’.

It continued: ‘The prominence of pilates should come as no surprise. The original form of the exercise, which began in the 1920’s, now offers variations for people to practice, such as reformer and wall pilates – the latter of which was named by PureGym as the number one fitness trend for 2024, having seen a massive 4,461 per cent increase in interest.’

The third-most-searched form of exercise, according to the study, is yoga, which comes top in 26 countries

The third-most-searched form of exercise, according to the study, is yoga, which comes top in 26 countries

Pilates is top in 40 countries, including the UK, Portugal, Poland , the U.S, Australia and New Zealand

Pilates is top in 40 countries, including the UK, Portugal, Poland , the U.S, Australia and New Zealand

The third-most-searched form of exercise, according to the study, is yoga, which comes top in 26 countries, including Canada and China. But not its birthplace, India, which favours parkour (which originated in France).

CrossFit comes fourth (22 countries, including Mexico and Spain) and ab workouts is fifth (17 countries).

The rest of the top 10 comprises boxercise (sixth, 12 countries), running (seventh, 10 countries), calisthenics (eighth, eight countries), climbing (ninth, six countries) and hiking (10th, five countries).

THE MOST POPULAR WORKOUTS IN THE WORLD 

1. Dancing – 51 (number of countries that search for it more than any other form of exercise)

2. Pilates – 40

3. Yoga – 26

4. CrossFit – 22

5. Ab workouts – 17

6. Boxercise – 12

7. Running – 10

8. Calisthenics – 8

9. Climbing – 6

10. Hiking – 5

Source: PureGym

 

CrossFit comes fourth (22 countries, including Mexico and Spain) and ab workouts is fifth (17 countries)

CrossFit comes fourth (22 countries, including Mexico and Spain) and ab workouts is fifth (17 countries)

This regional map shows that in South America, boxercise and pilates rule the fitness roost

This regional map shows that in South America, boxercise and pilates rule the fitness roost

Laura Melia, PT and General Manager at PureGym Manchester, said that keeping fit is all about finding what works for you.

She commented: ‘Everyone is at a different stage of their fitness journey, with different levels of strength and mobility, and what works for one person might be too much or too little for another. Don’t feel pressured to match anyone’s workouts and avoid comparing progress with other people.’

To find out more about the research and the most popular form of exercise in each country, visit: www.puregym.com/blog/how-the-world-works-out.

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