How to ease yourself back into the gym

After what feels like a lifetime, gyms have finally reopened on April 12th. Let’s face it, trying to stick to a routine when you’re stuck at home during a global pandemic, is pretty difficult. So if you are looking forward to getting back into shape, you might feel like you’re starting from scratch again. Here we give you some tips on how to ease yourself back into the gym, after your unexpected holiday from working out. 

Don’t overdo it

Doing too much straight away can overwhelm you physically and mentally. It’s better to go into it knowing that you probably aren’t going to be as fit as you were, and that’s ok! Regardless of whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or crossfitter, taking time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your abilities. To ease yourself back into the gym, start slowly with lower intensity than you were used to, eventually build back up to the amount of reps, distance, weight, that you could previously do. You don’t want to cause yourself an injury on your first session back and it’s important to focus on form over intensity.  The good news is that you’ll also regain your strength quicker than it took for you to reach that weight in the first place thanks to muscle memory.

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Make a routine and stick to it

Jumping back in at 4 days a week will be a tough adjustment. We suggest starting with 1 or 2 days a week and sticking to it, to ease yourself back into the gym, after all, you need to form the habit and routine again. As you get more comfortable, build up your days. Rest days are so important, these are the days where your body repairs itself and makes the progress, so don’t try to make up for the lost time by working out every day. Recovery is part of being active.

Listen to your body.

The chances are, your body is going to let you know that it’s working hard, but pain is not always a sign of progress, it could mean you need to stop that activity. After being out of your routine for so long, your body may not have the range of motion it used to, so don’t push through pain, it’s probably a sign that something isn’t right. Going from sitting in the house for 3 months to a full workout, you will probably feel fatigued much quicker as you burn more calories than you have done and your body adapts to the increased stress. It’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep, so on gym days try and get yourself to bed earlier than normal, so as not to burn out.