However just 25% have sought medical help for an injury, Bupa research reveals
Findings from a survey of more than 2000 UK adults estimate that 7.2m exercisers (14%) have experienced pains and strains during lockdown, as 61% draw upon recent restrictions as an opportunity to focus on fitness.
The most popular type of activities were found to be walking, gardening, jogging, cycling, using home gym equipment or joining online fitness classes, with 28% increasing the amount they do and one in five inspired to try something new in recent months.
Two in three Brits (66%) credit regular exercise with maintaining their mental health while in lockdown while one in three (31%) are aiming to lose weight.
Those using home gym equipment, weight training or doing online classes are most likely to report an injury, the research from Bupa found.
Pulled muscles were most common injuries (36%), according to the survey, while others reported severe damage to their knees, backs and ankles.
However, just one in four (25%) of those who have been hurt said they had sought medical help, pointing towards reluctance to seek out remote consultations with experts such as physiotherapists. According to the research, a quarter (26%) have relieved themselves by using painkillers or joint supports, and 42% said they have done nothing at all to treat an injury.
As lockdown restrictions ease, nearly half (45%) plan to carry on with their current fitness programmes even after social distancing measures as relaxed.
Damian McClelland, clinical director for musculoskeletal services at Bupa UK Insurance, said: "Social distancing may keep us out of gyms and fitness classes for a while longer, so it's encouraging that so many people have taken on exercise routines from home. But while exercise is enormously important for both our physical and mental health, new regimes and workouts should be taken on with caution to avoid "home gymjuries'.
"Many people have been understandably reluctant to go out to access healthcare. However, there's no need to put up with strains and pains during lockdown. If you need to speak to a physiotherapist or a consultant, appointments are happening by phone or video to allow quicker access to advice and treatment."
McClelland also offered some expert advice about how to exercise safely. He said: "For those trying out something new, or simply increasing their activity during lockdown, make sure to build in 15 minutes to stretch out and cool down muscles after a workout, take rest days inbetween exercise and make sure that you're getting enough sleep - as these are important for warding off exercise-induced injury and strain. Try to gather as much information and guidance on technique as possible before you embark on a new workout, and if you do suffer an injury, seeking medical help remains essential."
Top seven most popular lockdown exercises
1. Walking (51%)
2. Gardening (32%)
3. Joining in with classes or PT sessions online or via app (30%)
4. Using home gym equipment such as bike or treadmill (14%)
5. Running (13%)
6. Cycling (10%)
7. Weight training (8%)
Top five most common injuries
1. Pulled muscles (36%)
2. Knee injuries (31%)
3. Back injuries (26%)
4. Ankle injuries (26%)
5. Neck injuries (25%)
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