Love Island has inspired a rise in working out and healthy eating

Love Island has taken over our TV screens and office chats for the past two months, and as it draws to a close on Monday, research suggests the popularity of the show has had a positive impact on the fitness regimes of the nation.

We’ve already written about how their slow motion running might tell us more about the contestants’ secret running habits, but research from SportsShoes.com has revealed Love Island is behind a spike in searches for gym memberships, workout plans and healthy nutrition.

In the first week Love Island aired, in-between wondering why Dr Alex wasn’t applying factor 50 and sighing that Dani and Jack were #couplegoals, there was a 52% more online searches for gym sign-ups than any other week in the UK. As the islanders ran round the villa, 114% more 18-24 year-olds searched for ‘workout plans’ than the week before Love Island aired.

Yet the show has also received a great deal of criticism for only showing one sort of body type. George Pearce, a fitness ambassador for SportsShoes.com highlighted that although a healthy lifestyle is important, it should be sustainable, and have the right goals.

“On the one hand, it’s great that people are watching a show and taking inspiration from it to lead a fitter life, by getting themselves down to the gym and becoming healthier in the process. As a fitness professional though, my interest in the nation’s health extends beyond wash board abs. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that this is the case for the show.

“With the findings in mind, I’m inclined to ask whether people are trying to incorporate fitness into their lives as a way of moving and feeling better? Is their interest about pushing themselves to develop new skills and build new friendships through exercise? Or are they more self-shaming in their approach? Are people punishing themselves to workout, because they don’t resemble the ‘body beautiful’ image they’re presented with on their screens? 

“I fear that these shows may lead to an increasingly persecutory approach to exercise, one that has the potential to do far more damage than good, especially in regard to mental health. When a reality show is at its best, it’s able to reflect back to us lessons about the real world. I question the impact of Love Island fantasy on our physical and mental wellbeing. We should always be placing good health much higher than vanity when it comes to our fitness. It’s great to join a gym or start a fitness plan, but it shouldn’t be done simply because the TV has made you feel like you should."

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