Man tired, sweating laying on floor after exercising

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NEW YORK —  If you’re trying to get chiseled for your next trip to the beach, don’t be discouraged if your body hardly looks different after a month. According to a recent survey, the average person believes it takes six weeks of a new fitness regime before they can see a physical difference. And once they’ve seen results in themselves, 54 percent say it’s “easier” to maintain their routine. 

The poll of 2,000 adults reveals what goals people prioritize when it comes to their fitness. Above all, they’re aiming to lose a certain amount of weight (43%), increase their general strength (43%) and increase their general mobility (35%).

However, 48 percent are worried about potentially losing the motivation to get fit and 65 percent believe the motivation to increase their level of physical fitness wanes over time.

According to respondents, the motivation to keep going lasts for about four weeks before needing a new push.

intense workout exercise
The average person believes it takes six weeks in a new fitness routine before they can see a physical difference. (Credit: Julia Larson on Pexels)

The survey, commissioned by Optimum Nutrition and conducted by TalkerResearch, finds that a majority of Americans’ diet affects their level of fitness motivation (89%). 

Nearly three in 10 (29%) believe they don’t get enough protein in their diet, lacking it either “all the time” (19%) or often (40%). 

Gen X respondents feel like they are lacking protein the most out of all generations (35%), compared to millennials (34%), Gen Z (27%) and baby boomers (21%). Plus, over three in five (35%) women don’t think they get enough protein vs. 23 percent of men. 

The average person has two meals per day that don’t include protein, but 61 percent would be more likely to increase their protein intake to help achieve their fitness goals.

As people reflect on health and wellness goals, the most common experiences that make people feel out of shape include running out of breath often (49%) and trying on clothing that no longer fits (46%). 

Over a quarter (29%) say they realized they were out of shape after not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling winded. 

Overall, half are optimistic about their fitness futures, believing that their best physical days are still ahead of them.

“Of course, it takes time to see a physical difference in ourselves,” says Optimum Nutrition Brand Director Jim Hogan, in a statement. “But when you first start a new fitness routine, that moment of realization is powerful — it’s an encouragement that what you’re doing is working and the goals you have for yourself are achievable. That’s the sort of motivation people need to keep their fitness habits up.”


This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Optimum Nutrition between Jan 4 and Jan 8, 2024. It was conducted by market research company Talker Research, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Patrisha Antonaros

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