Getting Back Into Shape After Lockdown
Following months at home; unable to participate in our regular routines, working from home, not able to eat out, socialise, go to the gym and so forth; most of us are eager to experience a return to normality. Whilst a great number of people have been keeping up their fitness levels with home workouts, practising online classes, cycling and running, the majority are not fortunate enough to have a home gym and lack the sophisticated training equipment of professional fitness venues.
The closure of gyms, fitness centres, and Yoga and Pilates studios, has resulted in a drop in overall fitness levels and a rise in stress levels; with much of the population suffering from cumulative stress following months of being stuck indoors. Many people have had to juggle working from home whilst attempting to home-school their children, ensuring all the domestic work and food preparation is completed, as well as trying to find the time and motivation to exercise. It is perfectly normal under these circumstances to find that many people have lost stamina, endurance and muscle mass. Many of us have also found that the sedentary lockdown lifestyle has resulted in weight gain, making the prospect of getting back into shape after so many months seem like a daunting task.
However, getting back into shape is not as challenging as it may appear, a staged fitness program designed to build up gradual resistance, coupled with a positive mindset and dedication will bring both physically and psychologically rewarding results.
The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise brings with it a number of benefits:
- Improved overall fitness, strength, and flexibility
- Increased muscle tone
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced weight
- Stress relief
- Better sleep
- Improved mental wellbeing
Back To Basics
When returning to the gym following lockdown, it is important to take extra care in order to avoid injuries, and not to just jump straight back in where we left off – the body needs time to be able to build up strength again. A sure fast and safe way to get back into shape following lockdown is to revisit the basics and start with strength building and muscle toning exercises to help rebuild whilst avoiding injury.
A Good Warm-Up
The importance of a good warm-up should never be underestimated; it helps to raise the body’s core temperature and subsequently increase the blood flow to the muscles. This helps to decrease the risk of injury to the muscles, tendons and joints. A warm-up not only helps to prevent injury, but it also enhances performance. Increased levels of oxygen to the muscles help them to work more effectively and the increase in the core temperature contributes to faster muscle contraction and relaxation.
Gradual Strength Building
The return to training should be gradual, the initial times of resistance training should be halved and then built back up.
Extra care should be taken when lifting weights, do not return to the full weights being used prior to lockdown as this is a sure way to cause injuries. Weightlifting should be reduced to 50% of what it was pre-lockdown and once again, built up slowly.
Yoga and Pilates Classes
During lockdown, online fitness classes such as yoga and Pilates became extremely popular; thankfully the lifting of lockdown restrictions allows the return of face to face classes. Both yoga and Pilates offer an excellent way of getting back into shape safely; these low impact forms of exercise are highly effective at building strength, improving muscle tone, posture and overall stamina as well as promoting mindfulness and relaxation.
Personal Training Services
The primary advantage of PT services is the provision of an individually tailored exercise program to suit unique requirements. There are a number of exercises which, if performed incorrectly, can lead to painful injuries. Personal training can help get results sooner in a safe way – helping to improve fitness levels, lose fat and gain muscle, establish healthy patterns and set realistic goals as well as pushing you beyond your comfort zone and break through plateaus.
How We Can Help
Covid-19 has had a drastic effect and caused changes to all of our lives, causing us to rethink and restructure our routines. Never before has exercise, self-care and wellness been so important. We offer a wide range of Physiotherapy and sports-related services including yoga and Pilates. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.