As life slowly starts to return to normal, you might be thinking about (or dreading) returning to the gym.
Whether you were a dedicated gym bunny pre-lockdown or just liked to attend the odd class, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself before you return to the gym.
Am I in the right headspace?
As we explored in a previous blog post, your mental preparation for a return to physical activity is just as important as your physical readiness.
It’s important to take time to understand what works for your body in order to fully reintegrate yourself into a sporting environment or your favourite gym class. As the body and mind work so closely together, it’s vital to consider both when considering a return to the gym.
This year has been overwhelming to say the least, so it’s important to check in with yourself to ensure you’re fully ready for a return to the gym.
A good tip is to practice specific movements you’d usually do at the gym at home. This will prepare your mind and body to get back to moving smoothly as well as increase your confidence to return to the gym.
Have I physically prepared?
Whether you’ve been diligently tuning into your Zoom workout class or you’ve been skipping workouts this year, getting physically prepared to return to the gym will be key to your success.
We don’t recommend jumping straight into miles on the treadmill or the gruelling weight sessions you were able to knock out pre lockdown – but there are plenty of things you can do to ease yourself back into gym life.
At-home exercises and movements are great as they allow you to keep your body moving, which is massively important to your overall wellbeing. By simply being in touch with your body, you’ll know what is and isn’t right for you.
If your old regime feels too much – pull it back for the time being. With patience, you’ll be smashing your previous goals in no time.
What do I want to achieve?
Think about what goals you want to achieve and draw up a plan that accounts for a gradual build-up of physical activities into a routine.
Be realistic, aiming to jump straight back into your pre-lockdown routine might lead to burnout or injury. Try to think of your return to the gym as a marathon and not a race – with the right preparation, you’ll get there in the end.
While it’s great to challenge yourself, make sure you’re listening to your body at the same time and are aware of your baseline right now.
Have I adjusted my expectations?
It would be almost impossible for an elite athlete to jump back into their training sessions after months off – you are no different. Adjusting your expectations when returning to the gym will ensure that you perform at your best and most importantly, that you enjoy your time there.
In 2020, we can safely say that ‘no pain = no gain’ does not apply. So try not to beat yourself up. Instead, enjoy the freedom that comes with moving your body and the new found freedom that is being allowed to visit the gym.
Do I feel safe and prepared?
Finally, with the pandemic set to be with us for a while longer, it’s important to check in with yourself about keeping safe while you exercise.
You might not feel ready to return to a busy gym – that’s ok. If you are planning a comeback, we recommend making a plan of how you’ll keep yourself safe including bringing your own towel and, of course, hand sanitiser.
If you need any more advice or guidance about returning to the gym, feel free to get in touch. We are open for adjustments and massage which can be booked through our website.