Hands up if you're excited about gyms reopening, training starting up again and life returning to this new normal.
As much as we have missed using weights for exercise, we have also realised exercising outdoors is just as calming and effective in managing physical and mental health.
There has been a long hiatus from lifting heavy weights and benching our PB's.
When returning to the gym, especially if you haven't had access to the same resistance and weights if you have been exercising at home, is to start slow and build up from scratch.
It's temporary, and most certainly does not mean you will have to drop down to square one.
Where can you start if you have continue exercising at home and are looking forward to returning to the gym?
Try mimicking your home exercises with a lower weight on the machine that you are used to.
If you have been using free weights at home, continue doing the same with the same resistance for the first week.
If you need a refresher on how to use certain equipment, book a session with a personal trainer.
Remember to let your body build up to different intensities and resistances, you don't want to break down as soon as you start again.
What if you've only been doing cardio like walking, riding or running and no weight training due to lack of equipment, does it mean I do have to drop down to square one?
Or worse, go into the negative numbers?
Simple answer, no!
The above rules definitely apply to someone starting fresh again and transitioning from cardio to weights.
If you're apprehensive about jumping into weight training or unsure about where to start, the best thing to do is ask for help.
I personally would recommend a few on-on-one sessions with a PT. Let them help you build up a program for you and guide you one step at a time.
Start with really low weights. Perform exercises you are 100 per cent sure of and build up your endurance gradually.
These precautions are to avoid us from diving head first into the deep end. It's essential to remember our tissues break down and regenerate quickly, and it's important to give them time to adapt to change.
Health is a journey, not a 100-metre sprint, take your time, your body will thank you!
TJ Deshmukh, Ararat Physiotherapy and Health Services
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