With gyms across the country re-opening for the first time in months I know many people are feeling a little unsure or nervous about stepping through those doors again. A few of my clients/friends have shared their main worries which I fully can relate to, so I thought I would share some tips on how to make the whole experience a lot nicer.
#1 Take the pressure off!
One of the most important things to remember is we are all in the same boat. Yes, some people have been lucky enough to have had home gyms/equipment at home but that still doesn’t really recreate a gym environment. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little stressed about the loss of strength and fitness but what I like to point out to my clients is most of us all started from scratch once, there is always time to start again and build back up to where you were before. You might actually be surprised how quickly you can achieve this too. Most fitness competitions or races have been cancelled for this year anyway, so there is no need to feel pressured or worried about not being close to your old PBs – it really doesn’t matter, you can get them back!
#2 A phased return
It is so tempting to get carried away and want to hit the gym every single day for the first few weeks because you’ve missed it so much. It is also tempting to go back and try and start hitting the same sort of weights you were doing before lockdown in workouts. Where this might be absolutely fine for some people who have maintained their strength and fitness when the gyms were closed for a lot of people jumping straight back in to crazy intensity could a) lead to injuries or b) burn you out pretty quickly. Being realistic about things and building up the frequency of your training could be the best way to go.
#3 Go with a friend and join a class
Going to the gym with a friend is always a fun option especially if you like the same training styles. Having someone with you to train with not only makes the experience more enjoyable but also you can motivate one another. Same goes to joining in with a class, especially if it’s a new class. Joining a class is also a great way to meet new people and even better you have someone there responsible for telling you what to do and when to do it!
#4 Look after your body
You might find you’re feeling quite sore after the first few days back at the gym so be prepared for it! (See my previous post on the best way to treat muscle soreness) However, going back to the point of a phased return can also help with not feeling like you’ve been hit by bus after day 1. Always make sure you warm up and cool down properly too!
#5 Set some fresh goals
It might not be New Years day but now is a better time than ever to set some fresh goals and use them as motivation to get back into a healthy lifestyle. Like I pointed out before most things this year have been delayed/cancelled so you’ve got plenty of time for some short and long term goals. Once of you’ve set them think about the things you can actively do to achieve them and make a note of aspects you are and aren’t in control of.