Friday, February 26, 2010

Exercise in America

206 classes in 199 days.
59 classes in 56 days in the 101 challenge.

The other day I was curious to see how the rest of the U.S. population compares to Bikram fanatics in terms of daily exercise. We're all aware of the rising obesity rates in this country and general lack of health and exercise, but I specifically wanted to see how many Americans actually exercised something close to what we do. I know that doing 90 minutes of exercise per day is far above the norm for Americans.

I couldn't find ANY surveys that talked about 90 minutes of exercise per day, or even 60 minutes. I did find a survey that I like (A Gallup Poll) that got a percentage of Americans that do 20 minutes of "vigorous exercise." The survey breaks down the percentage of people that do 20 minutes of exercise one day per week, two days, zero days, etc. Guess what the percentage of people who exercise daily (and ONLY 20 minutes) is? For 2007 it was 4%! The surveys cover time periods for a few years and that percentage varies between 4 and 5%. So it's consistently pretty small. For the sample in 2007, the survey said 45% (!!!) of Americans said they didn't do 20 minutes of vigorous exercise even ONCE per week!

Below is the link:

This survey really points out what an elite group Bikram yogis are. Even you aren't going every single day, you're still doing A LOT more exercise than the average person out there. The survey only covers 20 minutes of exercise, and we don't even get to Eagle Pose in 20 minutes!



  1. Very interesting survey and it helps me realize that we yogis really do work hard. We should all give ourselves credit for our practice.

  2. Thanks for that greg. I've been thinking about writing a post towards beginners, I might have to feature some of this information in it.

    I can totally relate to this though, I would say (except for the last year) there has properly only been about 2-3 years in my life I've had a exercise routine of 20 min/week. So these last 60 days really have been a shock to the system.

  3. Oh, so THAT'S why my coworkers are constantly telling me I'm bat shit insane for doing 90 mins of hot yoga everyday.....!!!!
    We are in the minority...big time!

  4. Oh, and the comment ahead of me said "you are crazy man!" in japanese. Or it could be spam. :)

  5. How do you know what that Japanese says?!