Have you returned to the gym yet? Depending on where you live, gyms and similar indoor fitness facilities might have been back open for a while, or they might be reopening soon. You might be wondering how you can ease yourself back into your gym workout safely as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic.
Here are a few tips to help you get back in the groove as quickly and safely as possible:
Have a plan
There’s nothing worse than walking into the gym and feeling confused or demoralized because you don’t know what exercises you should be doing. The best way to combat this is to make a plan before you go.
How you structure your workouts depends on your goals and what works for you. Will you focus on one muscle group per visit (i.e. “arm day” and “leg day,”) or will you divide your workout into cardio, strength, and stretching sections?
Create at least a rough outline of your workout before you hit the gym. This will have you feeling confident and ready to go.
Go when it's quiet
Going to the gym when it is quiet has a few benefits. If you’re still nervous about Covid, you’ll feel more comfortable with fewer people around. You also won’t find yourself wasting time waiting for machines, or feeling pressured to rush your sets, which can result in injury.
Some of the quietest times at most gyms are 9am-noon and 2-4pm. If your gym has late or 24-hour opening, going late at night can also work well for some people. Do what works for your schedule and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Don't Skip Your Warmup
Warming up properly before a workout is crucial to preventing injury and maximizing your performance. Never skip the warmup phase of your workout. This is particularly important when you’re easing back into a regular gym routine after extended time away.