DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic has Americans concerned about their physical and mental well-being. A new survey* reveals a majority of Americans are exercising less, with nearly half gaining weight and neglecting healthy eating as they deal with feelings of isolation and perceived barriers to maintaining their health and fitness. Yet, a majority are resolving to emerge stronger, with nearly nine in 10 Americans hoping to improve at least one aspect of their self-care. Global sports nutrition leader, OPTIMUM NUTRITION ("ON"), commissioned the survey and is aiming to help people be BETTER THAN BEFORE with an ongoing program of free training sessions, dynamic workouts, and a social community of support on the brand's social channels.
ON's upcoming BETTER THAN BEFORE series of free livestreamed events (running October 5th-9th), will offer expert coaching in fitness, nutrition and mental health. The sessions – including workouts, information sessions and Q&A – will feature leading fitness professionals, influencers and celebrities, along with registered dieticians and health providers.
"COVID-19 has disrupted our fitness and nutrition routines and it's taught us a lot about ourselves. We commissioned this survey to measure how we could support consumers maintaining their fitness and self-care routines. We found that while Americans have weathered significant setbacks, they are resolved to take charge of their own health and fitness," said Sarah Lombard, marketing director for ON.
"Supporting those who are making a commitment to their fitness in in our brand DNA and we've done it for over 30 years. ON is responding to this moment by pulling together some of our strongest trainers and experts to support people on their quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even for those who are struggling with their motivation and changes to their finances and gym access," said Lombard.
Snapshot of a Pandemic-Weathered Nation
ON survey results show that a majority of Americans (62%) are concerned with their overall health. Healthy habits such as workouts and pickup sports games with friends have taken a back seat of late, with 63% of respondents admitting they are not as active as they'd like to be.
More than half (51%) are exercising less than before the pandemic: 45% report gaining weight and 42% say they are eating less healthy. And a majority of respondents (85%) say they are facing barriers to getting healthier, be it a lack of motivation (38%), lack of financial resources (33%) or lack of access to equipment and proper training for workouts (30%).
Concerns emerging in the survey show the toll on mental health too: two-thirds of respondents say they are more stressed and anxious than before the pandemic, and 45% report feeling "less like myself." Feelings of isolation may be a contributing factor, as six in 10 feel like they've lost a sense of community because of COVID-19 and two in five are concerned about maintaining relationships with friends and family.
Despite it all, Americans remain optimistic: 86% feel that there are ways in which the pandemic could lead to lasting improvements, like a deeper appreciation for the little things in life (63%), for friends and family (56%) and for themselves and what they're capable of doing (38%.) Nine in 10 say they've learned something about themselves – a third of those realized they are strong and resilient.
"Just like resistance in exercise, adversity can build strength," said Lombard. "Individually and together, we know we can emerge from this challenge more resilient, more committed to our well-being and, ultimately, better than before. ON is committed to helping people along that journey, wherever they are in their path."
Better Than Before
ON developed its BETTER THAN BEFORE campaign to support people as they seek to navigate a new normal. Focused on fitness, performance and overall health, the integrated campaign features a series of free, virtual events the week of October 5 -9. Programming includes workouts, information sessions and Q&A panels on a range of wellness topics.
ON's BETTER THAN BEFORE sessions will address relevant topics like how to maintain a healthy immune system, quality of sleep, managing stress, nutrition and supplementation, retooling workouts to suit the "new normal" and more. In addition to expert advice, ON imbues a spirit of fun in the program with sessions like "date night," which addresses the challenges of close relationships during the pandemic and includes a couples workout, and "bedtime stories" to promote good sleep.
Hosts include leading fitness celebrities and influencers like reality TV personalities Tyler Cameron, Clay Harbor and designer Hayley Paige, elite athletes like professional soccer player Abby Dahlkemper and gymnast Sam Mikulak, along with leading personal trainers and ambassadors from Team ON, including Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin and fitness influencers Conrad Louis and Karina Elle. Other guests include experts like sports psychologist Dr. Jarrod Spencer, sports medicine orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Cole and Registered Dietitian Brooke O'Connell.
"BETTER THAN BEFORE will provide information, inspiration and encouragement," said Kerry Leslie, brand activation manager for ON. "Perhaps most importantly, we hope it makes people realize they are not alone – there is a community, from fitness influencers and experts to fellow Americans near and far, who have the same concerns and still can come together, virtually, to support one another in pursuing their best and healthiest lives."
All content will be broadcast live morning and evening via OPTIMUM NUTRITION Instagram Live, and will be archived for convenience viewing anytime via IGTV and to the OPTIMUM NUTRITION YouTube channel. For a complete schedule of events, interested participants can visit optimumnutrition.com/btblive.
About OPTIMUM NUTRITION
OPTIMUM NUTRITION was established in 1986 to satisfy consumer demand for consistent quality in sports nutrition. The company is also known for anticipating ever-changing customer needs and meeting the demands of a dynamic market with innovative products. With four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities based in the United States, India and in the United Kingdom, ON manufactures items in every product category, including nutritional bars, protein powders, ready-to-drink shakes and beverages, energy products, multi-vitamins and other health & wellness items that support a healthy lifestyle. The brand's GOLD STANDARD 100% WHEY is universally recognized as the world's best-selling whey protein powder. ON products can be found throughout the United States in close to 10,000 independent natural product and specialty retail stores, gyms, and fitness centers, and most online retailers. ON products are also sold in 90+ countries around the world. Learn more at https://www.OPTIMUMNUTRITION.com/
* Independent research firm Kelton Global conducted the online survey of 1,004 representative American adults on Sept. 2, 2020.
SOURCE OPTIMUM NUTRITION