New research conducted by market intelligence agency, Mintel, has highlighted the challenges faced by Indians in adopting a healthy and active lifestyle. Despite a strong desire to lead a healthy lifestyle, a lack of motivation and time were cited as significant barriers. The study, which surveyed 3000 Indian adults aged 18 and above, found that almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents do not engage in regular exercise. Surprisingly, while 46% claim that leading a healthy lifestyle is their top priority, only 37% actually exercise.

The research identified a lack of time as the primary reason for not exercising, with 31% of participants admitting to this obstacle. Additionally, Indians tend to opt for basic forms of exercise, with 67% of those who do exercise choosing brisk walking as their preferred activity. Yoga, pilates, and CrossFit followed at 26%, cardio and team sports at 11%, and bodyweight exercises at 10%.

The preference for basic forms of exercise is attributed to the high cost associated with gym memberships and fitness classes. This cost factor has led to a focus on affordable options, limiting the variety and intensity of exercise for many individuals.

The study also examined the growth in sports nutrition product launches in India. It found that in 2018, 65% of all sports nutrition product launches between 2015 and 2018 occurred, demonstrating a growing interest in fitness and health. Of the products launched in 2018, 93% carried functional claims, with weight and muscle gain (69%), energy (45%), and immunity (22%) being the most common claims.

However, the research highlighted a lack of awareness surrounding sports nutrition products, with 13% of respondents claiming they do not know enough about them and 11% believing that these products can be harmful if consumed without rigorous exercise. Mintel’s findings indicate that despite the desire to lead a healthy lifestyle, many Indians struggle to prioritize exercise and lack knowledge about beneficial nutritional supplements.

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