After months of lockdown with fitness centres and recreation programs being closed, we’ve all struggled to keep up our exercise and activity levels.
It is essential you do resume your fitness activity as muscle loss can lead to long-term problems with mobility and balance. Those in turn can trigger or aggravate a whole range of subsequent serious health conditions.
Now that restrictions are easing here are some tips for how to get back into a good exercise routine. So, let’s get your body moving again!
After time off exercise, don’t expect to do the same amount as before lockdown. Remember any activity is better than doing nothing.
If you’re doing less than you hoped don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s important to be realistic so you don’t end up pushing your body too hard, giving yourself an injury, getting frustrated and give up completely.
After a long break from exercising or playing sports the safest thing, is to start at a manageable level and gradually increase. Jumping straight back into an activity you haven’t done in a while and expecting to start where you left off may lead to unwanted aches, pains, and injuries.
By taking things slowly when you resume your routine can also ensure you have the correct techniques again before building up the intensity.
Make sure you do an appropriate warm up and cool down for your activity. These include slow, large, rhythmic movements and stretching before and after your activity.
If you are having trouble motivating yourself to get back into activity, minimising the mental barriers to exercise can help. Here are some suggestions that may help.
- Locate and contact your exercise and activity provider again. Many facilities and instructors may have had to close, change their location or class schedule.
- Lay out your exercise gear the night before, so you don’t back out in the morning, frustrated by trying to find things.
- Make a specific schedule for what activity you will be doing and when you’ll be doing it.
- Incorporate activity into your daily routine. Then it quickly just becomes part of your day. It’s important to find a way to exercise which fits into your schedule so it becomes a habit, not a chore that you end up putting off.
- Make sure your activity is something that you actually enjoy. This will make it something you look forward to rather than dread.
If you’ve got out of the habit of exercise during lockdown, give yourself one less reason to avoid getting back into it now.
So now you have the tips and tricks to safely return to being active, get to it!