The gyms are back. Are you as excited as we are? Although it’s great news that our gyms are deemed safe enough to return to after the risks of covid. However, going back can feel overwhelming. So, we have some tips to help you get back to the gym with ease.
Before we pick up the dumbbells again, we must be a little cautious. Remember during lockdown many of us became more sedentary without the usual dashing around to catch a bus or walking to the gym. Fitness levels and physical strength can decline quickly, hence why we need to take it slow when returning to reduce the risk of injury. When we return to the gym post-lockdown, at first, we may feel stiffness in the joints, muscles will feel “tighter” and breathing usually gets heavier. These are all normal signs but will improve with time therefore it’s essential to take it slow.
Set realistic goals with our Healthy Lifestyle Advisers at One You to establish a routine and healthy habits. If you are unsure of how to approach exercise you can speak with your GP or health professionals such as exercise physiologists, and physiotherapists who can all offer telephone consultations.
If you have fears of going into a gym environment, remember, this feeling is completely normal. We all started out the same way. Going to the gym gives us similar anxieties to starting a new job or giving a presentation because it is a social experience in which we compare ourselves to others all the time. It may be due to low self-confidence levels, body image, feeling like we don’t know what we’re doing in front of others or perhaps we feel there are barriers to exercise because of a disability. Whatever it is, we can help you can work on this at One You Westminster, supporting you to create SMART goals.
Break down your goal into steps, these can be as small as you like until you start to feel more comfortable in yourself and more confident with your routine. Remember fear is because of the unknown, so getting familiar first is the best way forward. Understand how to use the machines and ask staff how to use them correctly, don’t be afraid to ask. You might want to bring a printout of your workout plan with you or have it on your phone. With effort, consistency and preparation it will gradually become easier for you to stay focused on your goal and those fears will diminish.
Remember to rest
Regular exercise also improves sleep and helps you feel more energised throughout the day. It boosts our mood by releasing feel-good hormones and helps manage stress and, anxiety However, we also need to listen to our body to understand if we need to do more or less exercise. Too much exertion can lead to injury. So, remember to let your body relax as well. Getting enough sleep is important for recovery after exercising so make sure to prioritise this in order to have a quality workout. Keep a good routine and include rest days for muscles to recover.
Follow Gym Safety Regulations
Your local gyms will also have guidelines on how to keep yourself safe whilst using the gym during this pandemic.
Our partners at Active Westminster detailed guideline on how you can access their centres safely. Find out more on their website: https://active.westminster.gov.uk/an-update-on-reopening-our-leisure-centres/
It’s completely alright If you’re feeling a little self-conscious or anxious about going back to the gym. So how about starting at home? Get back into the gym groove with our virtual gym, The Other Room. Whether you want chair-based exercises, or light aerobics or even if you want to go all in and do a full intensive session, we have something to meet your every need.
What’s more, you can even check your progress in our weekly challenges giving you a great indication for when you’ve got your gym mojo back.
If you’re new to exercise, the virtual gym is a great tool to slowly get familiar with an exercise routine from the comfort of your home.