Dunedin mother Tash Columbus gets active at the the gym.
She spends about 14 hours a week exercising. Photo by
Dunedin fitness fanatics are showing the nation the way,
a survey of New Zealanders' exercise habits shows.
The results of the survey of 2000 people by insurance company
Southern Cross Health Society showed people from Dunedin were
the nation's most frequent exercisers, with 47% of Dunedin
respondents saying they exercised at least four times a week.
Wellingtonians were close behind and Aucklanders were the
country's least frequent exercisers, with 45% exercising once
a week or less.
Crystal Graham, from Les Mills Dunedin, said it was great
Dunedin people were the most active.
However, it was not surprising, because Dunedin was such a
safe city and environment in which to exercise and she
believed there was a real understanding among residents of
the benefits of exercise to a person's mental health, as well
as physical health, she said.
Mother of two Tash Columbus (35) said she joined the gym in
May last year because she was in a bad place and wanted to
lose some weight.
Exercise had turned her life around, she said.
She now went to the gym or ran twice a day, six days a week,
and spent about 14 hours a week in total working up a sweat.
Fourteen kilograms lighter and physically and mentally
stronger than she had ever been, she said her life was
completely different. Her results had einfluenced her husband
to also join the gym.
''It's been hard, but nothing worth having comes easy, and I
just love it. It's addictive. The more you do, the more you
want to do.''
The survey found the under 30s and over 50s were the most
likely age groups to exercise.
About 24% of people said they exercised at least once a day.
Southern Cross Health Society chief executive Peter Tynan
said although there were positives, the overall results of
the survey showed more than a quarter of respondents
exercised less than once a week or not at all and that was a
''huge worry'' for the nation.
''Regular physical exercise can help reduce the risk of
chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers,
obesity and diabetes. Preventive action through exercise can
help to save lives and tax dollars.''