How To Safely Return To the Gym After A Break
Now that lockdown 2.0 is (finally) nearing an end, it can only mean one thing... time to get back to the gym!
Are you ready and raring to get back in? A little apprehensive? Whether you're excited or worried about how it will feel getting back to it, we are here to help make sure you return safely and get the most from your sessions.
Gyms closed at midnight back on 4th November and will reopen again this Wednesday. That's 28 days without weights, cardio machines, coached fitness classes or the sports that you love. Returning to fitness routines brings with it some risks. If you try and jump straight back in where you were before lockdown, you could risk injury, exhaustion or illness.
In this post, we are going to go through a few ways for how you can carefully manage your return to a strong and fit you.
5 Ways to Ensure a Safe Return to the Gym
1. Be Dynamic
Before your workout, whether it be cardio, weights or a mix, focus your warm up on dynamic stretches to get your joints and muscles prepared for movement. If you're performing with weights you should perform a few warm up sets which gradually build up to your working sets. If you used to bench press 40kg, start at 20kg and work up from there, using each subsequent warm up set to gauge where your strength is at.
2. Have a clear plan!
During your training, have a clear plan of what you want to get done during that session. Gradual progression for at least your first session back and preferably your first week. Don't try and perform at the level you were at prior to lockdown. With moderate progressions over time, you'll get back to and surpass where you were pre-lockdown.
Don't be hard on yourself! Strength, skills and endurance will come back quicker than it took you to get them in the first place.
3. Stretch, stretch and stretch again
Having started your sessions with dynamic stretches, after your workout you can work through some static stretches focusing on the areas of your body that have been active during your workout. Hold these for 20-40 seconds, and if you've got the time, go round two or three times. We'd suggest repeating these again later in the day, particularly before bed too.
Following your workout, try to eat a good portion of protein and some carbohydrates. These will help your muscles to recover and replenish your energy levels. We'd recommend stretching again the day after your workout and having a rest day between workouts. We know you've missed the gym, but it's important to give the body time to recover.
5. Enjoy it!
With most things in life, as long as you enjoy doing something, you'll want to do it more. So whatever makes you enjoy the gym, whether it's doing your favourite lift, taking part in your favourite class or even having a coffee and catch up after you train, try to have a little bit of fun when you go back.
Remember, you don't have to work yourself up to the gym. It's a place for you to grow, challenge yourself and see change at whatever rate and in whatever way suits you.
Are you excited to get back to the gym? Or are you a bit apprehensive about it? Let us know in the comments below..
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