IT'S BATHING SUIT SEASON, DO YOU DARE TO BE BARE OR
KEEP IT UNDER WRAPS?
-72 percent of Americans made no attempt to shape up for summer
-36 percent are embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit
-16 percent avoid the beach or pool altogether
Despite summer's searing heat wave, a recent survey* found that half the respondents are keeping their bodies out of view or off the beach. And that's apparently a lot easier than trying to shape up ‘«Ű a large majority also said that they made no efforts to diet and exercise their way towards a better shape for summer.
The nationwide survey of 1,000 adults, sponsored by Herbalife, found that only 27 percent of all respondents reported trying to shape up for the summer ‘«Ű compared with 69 percent of women and 76 percent of men who made no attempts at all. Which may help explain some of the survey's other findings: at the beach or pool, more than half said they keep themselves "under wraps", 36 percent said they're "embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit", and another 16 percent avoid swimming situations altogether - because they simply don't want to be seen.
Coupled with nationwide statistics showing that, as a nation, we're just getting heavier and heavier, "these numbers suggest that many people may simply be giving up the fight to get fit," said Dr. Luigi Gratton, vice president, nutrition education at Herbalife.
And if most people are staying covered up or avoiding the water altogether, they're missing a fantastic opportunity to get in shape. "Swimming is a full-body workout that just blasts calories," adds Gratton, "and a brisk walk or jog in the sand at the beach is great for the legs".
When asked how they felt about their summer bodies, the majority ‘«Ű 61 percent - admitted their bodies lack perfection, but said they were comfortable with what they've got. "On the surface one might say that's a good thing," notes Gratton. "It's important to love the body you've got, and hopefully it's also the best body it can be," he adds. But if, as the statistics suggest, we're working out less and loving it more, "it could mean that our views of what's a normal and healthy body are shifting ‘«Ű in the wrong direction".
There's no question that regular exercise and even small amounts of weight loss go a long way towards improving health. So instead of avoiding the mirror, "put on that swimsuit, get outside and get moving," suggests Gratton. "You'll never get that bathing suit body if you spend your summer on the couch."
*Survey of US adult population, conducted by Synovate eNation, June 27, 2011 through June 29, 2011, margin of error +/- 3 percentage points.