Shit the gyms are reopening!!!
"But, I’m not ready! “...”I need to lose this lockdown weight"
As we make progress towards normality, the one thing on a lot of people's mind is: What will happen when I go back to the gym? There have been so many uncertainties this past year and the reopening date is one the same. We can only hope that the easing of restrictions can go ahead, but there are a few things to consider in the lead up...
We have 8 weeks to prepare ourselves for re-entering normality. So, I’m guessing now would be the time to flock the restrictive diets and lose any lockdown weight? I don't think so. The best thing for you to be doing is to gradually increase your activity levels.
If you have spent the last couple of months with little or no exercise, your body will be stiff and jumping head first into a strict exercise regime could result in injury. Start off with some mobility exercises and stretching to get things moving again. Doing this can improve your range of motion of joints and muscles.
It also can start to make changes to your posture, which I’m sure has taken a beating during all those Netflix binges *GUILTY*.
Yoga is a really accessible and gentle way to improve your mobility by working on your flexibility and strength. Sign up for a class or do it yourself in the comfort of your home!
Starting to ‘up your game’ can be as simple as beginning to monitor your daily hours of activity. Step count is a popular and easy way of keeping track, however, it can sometimes cause you to be obsessive over hitting a certain target. Instead, you could keep an eye on the time and make sure you aren't spending long periods of time sitting down. Cleaning the house, walking the dog or even doing home improvements, all count as activity. I find that during the sunny days, it really helps my mental health getting outside for as much time as I can.
I will never be one to condone unhealthy, unmaintainable diets or quick fixes. Developing a way in which you see food is so important. Throw ‘cheat days’ out the window and stop labelling certain foods as “good” or “bad”. All food has been created to be enjoyed and consumed in moderation. This is the way forward to develop a healthy body and mind. We cannot have one without the other. It is not okay to live off extremely low and dangerous diets and companies should not be endorsing this way of living.
We all should be listening to our bodies.
Our bodies, tell us what they need and they tell you when you are not eating a well-balanced diet. When I start to feed my body high sugar, high carbs and high fats, consistently, a number of things happen. I feel sluggish, I sweat more, my hormones are imbalanced, my mood shifts and amongst other things, it starts to scream out for a vegetable! We can start by being more accountable for the food we put into our body. We can ask ourselves are we eating out of hunger or is it boredom? If it's the latter, then it is time to fill that void with something else other than food. Self-reflection is the key to self-awareness: it allows us to look at our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. We begin to dig deeper, to question our very being: Why do I feel this way? What can I do to heal and overcome this barrier? Try to find a creative outlet to express your thoughts or feelings. *COUGH WELCOME TO MY BLOG COUGH*
We are all doing our best at this time and that is enough. No-one has a hand book on how to do life perfectly. If we did, we would all be so boring. It's still important to not put too much pressure on ourselves and celebrate the small wins. This past year has been hard on us all and each new lockdown, has come with more challenges to face. Hopefully this is our light at the end of the tunnel and we can start looking to the future.
When it is time to return to the gym, we need to ease into it. Think of it as a car, you wouldn't go from 1st to 5th gear, would you? So why would you do that with your body? There will have been some changes in your training, perhaps your 1RM squat has decreased, or you can't run as long as you used to. I'm here to tell you that is okay! You will get it back with consistency and gradually building it back up again. You will get there. Your first gym session shouldn't be loaded with the thought of, “but I used to be able to do this much”, it should be, “but look what I can do!”. You have waited so long to get back to the gym, so enjoy it and enjoy reaching your goals again.