Soon, gyms and clubs will be able to reopen in line with national safety requirements, and it is no exaggeration to say that we look forward to this day more than Christmas. But there are a few things you need to know before you throw yourself full force into the active life of training as if there was no pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bodylab trainer Morten NP has put together five tips just for you to make sure your return to the gym is a pleasant experience.
- Pay attention to your diet
First, it's important that you eat a healthy and varied diet - or at least healthier than during the pandemic, when many of us loosened our belts, both literally and figuratively. And don't be too hard on yourself about it, because this has been an emotionally, financially or physically difficult time for all of us. But if the opposite has happened and you've lost muscle mass due to lack of training, then combining strength training with creatine and a good quality protein powder will go a long way in helping you get back in shape.
- Don't set your workouts up for failure
It will be tempting to give it your all in the first workout, but it's worth remembering that your fitness and training technique are probably not as good as they were before the gym closed. To avoid failing your first workout before it even happens, don't overdo it with too many weights and an aggressive approach to training - your body might not be ready for it.
- Set realistic goals
We love optimism and ambition, but if you want to go back to the same training programme that you were doing well before the pandemic started, just remember that it's been a long time since the drugs were shut down. It's likely that even the biggest muscle mountain in your gym will have lowered the bar for his usual training programme because of the pandemic, so don't try to get back to your best on the first go and set realistic goals for your first workouts that are in line with your fitness level. Armed with patience, over time you'll not only repeat your old records, you'll even beat them.
- Keep yourself and others safe
"Wash your hands and keep your distance!" is a phrase we have heard almost every day since the pandemic began, wherever we go. Even though the national emergency has been over for some time now, safety precautions should still be practised every day, because keeping your distance and following hygiene requirements will help gyms and clubs to get back to business as before the pandemic. (From 15 June, only persons vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have contracted the disease will be able to visit sports halls and clubs in Latvia.) Remember, when you finish using a piece of equipment, always clean it - not only will it be safer, but the next person after you will enjoy using it more.
- Don't forget to have a great time and have fun!
The reopening of gyms is a celebration not only for the owners and trainers, but also for us, so let's treat it as such - as a celebration to enjoy the reunion and the return to an active lifestyle.
Even if things don't go quite as planned at the first training session, don't be hard on yourself, because the most important thing is that you're back on the road to a physically active lifestyle to take care of your body and mental well-being. Encourage yourself with the old truth that a failed workout is just a workout that didn't happen, so load up your gym bag and head towards new challenges!