Is ‘getting fit’ at the top of your new year’s resolutions? If so, you’re far from alone - but new research shows that, sadly, we’re kidding ourselves when it comes to starting 2019 as we mean to go on!

We’ve learnt that, despite more than six in ten people pledging to focus on fitness and health in the coming new year, one in five of us will end up hitting the gym or pounding the pavements just once in 2019! A quarter of us don’t take any exercise at all, while almost two thirds - 65% - are now classed as overweight or obese, meaning we’ve a long way to go to make those goals come true.

Our research* found that:

  • 65% of UK adults claim ‘getting fit’ is their number one new year’s resolution
  • 47% of us want to improve our diet
  • 34% pledge to sort out the finances
  • 29% would like to improve work and our professional lives
  • 19% aim to improve our love lives head of partnerships Rod Jones said: “It’s only natural for so many of us to vow to focus on fitness following the indulgences of the festive season - and for these good intentions to wane as the year goes on. Let’s be honest, there’s always an excuse against going to the gym if we want to find one!

“But figures like these would suggest that we’ve reached a point where we’re effectively kidding ourselves when it comes to taking care of our overall health and wellbeing in this country. In a world where obesity and all its associated health risks have arguably never been more prevalent, repeatedly failing to fulfil those promises we make to ourselves year in, year out to change our diet, do more exercise and generally live more healthily not only has the potential to significantly impact our health, but our finances too.”

The NHS recommends 30 minutes of vigorous or moderate exercise - such as walking, cycling or lawn mowing - five days a week for adults aged 19 to 64. Our research showed that people living in East Anglia were the least active, with 26% admitting to doing no exercise all year, while adults in north west England did the most, with 17% taking part in some form of exercise daily and almost half (45%) exercising as much as four times a week.

Rod added: “Anyone looking towards private medical insurance as a means to support health problems likely to arise in later life as a result of living a poor lifestyle might want to bear in mind that related premiums are nearly always more costly if your overall style of living is less than ideal in the first place.

“Government guidelines can only ever be effective in improving our quality of life if the individual they’re aimed at takes them seriously in the first place. It’s time to stop deluding ourselves and start taking the power of the new year’s resolution - and all those other pledges to we make to change year-round - seriously, for the sake of your health and your bank balance.”

NHS figures released recently show that nine in 10 people are risking their health by making lifestyle choices including smoking, drinking too much and not taking enough exercise. Walking is one of the best ways to improve your fitness and give your mental health a boost and you don’t have to set out on a long hike - try 20 minutes a day from your front door or read our article, 7 ways to get walking, for inspiration.

*OnePoll conducted a survey of 2,000 randomly selected adults in September 2018.