Getting Back to the Gym – 7 Tips to Ease Back Into Working Out After Quarantine
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If you have been hibernating throughout the pandemic, getting back to the gym might seem daunting but not when you try these tips.
Keywords: getting back to the gym, workout, fitness enthusiasts
The last few months have been particularly difficult for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people in ways that you could have never imagined otherwise. People from all walks of life have modified their ways of living just to stay safe, and fitness enthusiasts are not an exception. With nationwide gym closures, the motivation to stay active and fit is quite difficult to maintain. Moreover, with work from home arrangements, it is tough to use your living room or bedroom both as your office and your gym.
Fortunately, conditions are improving around the world and an increasing number of businesses are returning to normal. The best news for fitness enthusiasts is that many states are officially reopening businesses including gyms, restaurants, and retail stores. While gym reopening is exciting, many people (who used to work out regularly at gyms) are intimidated by the idea of going back to the gym. After all, it has been quite a long time, everything is off routine, and getting back to the gym will surely be hard. But let’s not forget that challenges can be exciting! So take up the challenge and head back to the gym by keeping in mind some of the tried and tested tips to make the shift easier.
As people head back to the gym, out of enthusiasm, it is only natural to work out too much. A high-intensity and frequency workout after a long break can overwhelm you both physically and mentally. As a result, you may end up with injuries because your body may not be used to the extra activity. Therefore, it is best to start gradually when you get back to the gym after a long break. You can start with low-intensity workouts that last for 10 minutes (even if you used to do it for hours before the break) twice a week. Then gradually increase the intensity, duration, and frequency.
Incorporate Flexibility Workouts
It is only natural to experience tightness in your muscles when you work out after a long break. Make sure you incorporate flexibility workouts, such as dynamic and static stretching in your exercise routine. Stretching improves blood circulation and joint mobility so it is best to try a few yoga stretches 10-15 times before you start working out. Dynamic stretching is one of the best flexibility workouts that you can try. It will help your body warm-up along with improving flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength.
Try Integrated Exercise Plan
Your fitness workout should be a combination of cardio exercises, strength training, and flexibility. All these three components are essential for strengthening muscles and improving joint mobility and overall fitness.
As you return to the gym, make sure you integrate all of these three components in your workout. A good combination could be a few minutes of flexibility workout followed by strength training and cardio exercise. While following a cardio workout, make sure you give your body enough time to cool down. This will reduce the risk of injury. You may try the three components on different days of the week. You can break down your week into 2-3 days of strength training along with 2-3 days of cardio exercises whereas flexibility exercises remain a constant on all workout days.
Don’t Forget to Take a Break
As you do strength training and cardio exercises on most days of the week, don’t forget to give rest to your body. If you are doing cardio 2-3 times a week along with 2-3 strength training sessions, then ideally, your body needs two days of active rest. By resting for a few days a week, you can get time to repair your body and replenish your energy. This will allow you to continue your fitness routine in the long term and maintain wellness in years to come.
Listen to Your Body
As you return to the gym after a long break, it is possible that your body might not be ready for it. Even when you start slow, your body might get sore. So listen to your body and differentiate between when your body hurts and when it does not. In case you feel pain and discomfort that does not seem normal, stop doing the workout that is causing this pain and resort to pain management as soon as possible. Working out with sore muscles might worsen pain and lead to possible injury.
Once you return to the gym, it is important to start slow but it is equally essential to have a goal. Set a training goal and stick to it. You don’t have to set over-ambitious goals, instead, you can start by setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Having goals will give a better structure to your workout routine.
Get a Trainer
Getting back in shape and sticking to fitness goals might be tough especially after a long break. If you want help with your workout routine, it is best to get a trainer. Hiring a trainer even for a few weeks will help you accomplish your fitness goals in the desired time. At the same time, by working with a fitness trainer you will reduce your risk of injury and quicker recovery in case you get hurt at the gym.
Getting back into shape might be tough especially when you return to the gym after a long break. But now that gyms are reopening, it is time to get your fitness gear ready and head out to the gym. While the transition might be a tough one, with high-quality, comfortable sportswear and our tips, you can ease back to your fitness routine in no time.