5 Tips for Returning to The Gym after Lockdown
Posted on 19th March 2021
A lot of us are excited to get back to the gym, and some of us are probably dreading it!
We’ve spent approximately 9 months in lockdown over the last year and the gyms have been closed for a fair proportion of time. Now we seem to be coming to the end of a long tunnel (touch wood), the gyms will be reopening and it’s important that we prepare our bodies for this new change. In the past we’ve seen an increase in the numbers of people injuring themselves after long periods of little or no exercise. We’ve put this down to the excitement of being able to throw some weights around and working towards a healthier body. In this blog we’ll give you some tips to help you avoid those injuries.
Tip 1. Don’t rush back
You haven’t been able to train properly for a while, unless you’ve been keeping yourself in top shape during lockdown (kudos if you have). It’s inevitable you’re going to be a bit rough, and a bit ‘tightened’ up. Remember your first ever work out? The next few days was hell wasn’t it? Well, that’s exactly how it’s going to be for you if you jump straight back into your workouts really hard.
When we say don’t rush back, what we really mean is that you shouldn’t jump straight into heavy intensity exercises or a heavy weight loaded gym session. This will make the following gym sessions almost near impossible and it’s not an effective way to restart your fitness regime, plus- you could injure yourself! So just take it easy, start with lower weights and slowly build it up.
Remember - Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Tip 2. Warming up and cooling down are important
The last thing you want when you go back to the gym after such a long time, is to injure yourself straight away and enforce an accidental gym ban on yourself. So please make sure you warm up and cool down when exercising!
Warming up doesn’t mean to warm yourself up so you feel a bit warmer. Dynamic warmups are in fact about generating ‘moving stretches’ that allow your muscles to heat up, so they become elasticated and stretchy in preparation for activity.
Then after your workout should look to do static cool down stretches. Static cool down stretches are important to allow the body to gradually transition to a resting or near-resting state following activity.
As massage therapists who specialise in sport, it’s painful to see people going to do physical activity without warming up nor cooling down! They are pivotal to minimising injuries.
Tip 3. Get a massage
We might sound a little biased here, considering we’re a massage therapy company, but it’s common knowledge in the professional fitness industry that massages prior to bouts of exercise are fundamentally important to keep your body healthy and minimizing injury.
By having regular massages, you are helping to remove lactic acid, enabling a greater rate of recovery. It also helps to relieve tight muscles and alleviate cause possible tears. Also massages just feel great - so why wouldn’t you want to have one?
Tip 4. Dust off the foam roller
Sorry, this does slightly fall under tip 2 about stretching. But using foam rollers is SO important that it deserves to be a tip in itself.
A foam roller is the number one must have in your kit bag (after a spare change of clothes and deodorant please)! Using a foam roller in the right way is a fantastic alleviator of lactic acid and allows your muscles to be safely stretched to the max! It’s a great temporary substitute to massages.
Tip 5. Listen to your body
We might be massage therapists and pretty knowledgeable in the human body. But we really don’t know best…. YOU DO.
Listen to your body. Trust in what it’s telling you. If something isn’t right and you are feeling sore in certain areas and are experienced what feels like muscle pain, then take action! Don’t go to the gym because you’ve missed it, because let’s face it, if you injure yourself further (which almost certainly likely) then you’ll face a much longer time away.
You only have ONE body! So, look after it, it’s had a hard few months during lockdown, so be gentle with it when you get back into it all.
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