Returning To The Gym

Returning To The Gym

Well I don’t know about you, but this last lockdown has been the toughest one yet, and my motivation for working out has been at an all-time low. Unless, one of my friends dragged me to the park I’ve hardly worked out at all in the past 4 months. Which is such a real shame as the last year I’d really got into my fitness and was so happy with my progress.

Through 2020 I really found my love for working out, I set myself small achievable goals to keep me going and reward myself when I hit them. It was as simple as going to the gym 3 times a week, every week for a month then I’d treat myself to a new gym outfit. It was going really well, and I was pretty much going 5 days a week by the time we got to March. Then, Boris’s announcement came and well, as you know, it kind of changed things a bit, didn’t it? (Understatement of the century!)

Anyway, I managed to keep my motivation to workout throughout the first lockdown and when the gyms did reopen in July I was back, lifting weights, doing classes, hitting personal bests, and doing things I never managed before.

Then lockdown 2 happened, but as we knew it was only going to be 4 weeks, I managed to keep motivated working out at home. But then Lockdown 3 (hopefully the last) came. I don’t know if it’s because it was winter, it was cold outside with the dark nights, but working out just didn’t even cross my mind, maybe I just needed a well-deserved rest from all of it, because let’s be honest it’s been a hard one. 

I’ve hardly exercised these past few months, so I think it’s going to be pretty challenging to get back into things again on the 12th April. But I’m ready for it!

Therefore, I thought I would share my journey back to the gym with you, and hopefully we can help inspire and motivate each other to keep going, set ourselves goals. Be accountable to each other and be more mindful of what we are eating, I’m not going on a diet, but I am going to make a conscious effort to eat healthier, increase my protein intake and track my food on My Fitness Pal. 

My Fitness Pal, is a really easy way to keep an eye on what you’re eating and help you manage calories, protein, carbs and fat. It’s free to use and download and available from your app store. They’ve also launched this new feature where you can take a pic of what you’re eating and it works it out for you. What could be simpler than that?

I thought I would help with some things to remember when returning back to the gym, to make it a little less daunting, and remember we’re all in the same boat. 

Set Achievable Goals
You might think you can just pick up from where you left off, however many months ago it might have been since you last picked up a weight, or ran a 5k. But, don’t try for those personal bests straight away, ease yourself in. Start small and work your way up! You’re probably going to have to build your strength and stamina up again, so don’t get disheartened. It will come back, but we don’t want to push ourselves too hard and risk hurting ourselves. Using smaller weights, less reps, and shorter distances will really help with this.

Keep it Simple

You may have seen this new exercise on Instagram or TikTok, but why not save trying it until you’ve got the basics down again. Check your form and technique is good before increasing the difficulty. If you’re not sure ask for help. Lots of PTs or team members will be around and that’s exactly what they are there for, they’ll be more than happy to help and chat to you (it’s probably been a while for them too).

Plan your training

If you’re anything like me, just turning up is a massive achievement. But when you do get there and you’re ready to go, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re going to do than be struggling to think of what you’re going to do. Take a few mins before you get there, or perhaps whilst you’re warming up on the cross trainer or treadmill to note some exercises down on your phone and get your favourite workout playlist on!  

Make healthier food decisions

Now, for some the word Diet, is an instant turn off. I also think it seems like a short term fix. Therefore, we need to start making healthier decisions and being more mindful or what we are eating and when, rather than completely restricting certain food groups altogether. You may find a ‘diet’ that is right for you, but for the most of us, it’s just about eating less and moving more, creating that calorie deficit that we hear so much about. (If we want to lose weight that is, I know that’s not everyone’s goal).

Things will be different
Just as we’ve had to get used to a few changes elsewhere, the gyms have also had to make some changes. You may have to book a slot to go, social distancing is still very much going to play a part so there may not be as much equipment available to use, and we’ll have to wipe down our equipment before and after use and if you can, it’s probably easier to get changed at home or work rather than in the changing rooms.

But don’t let any of that put you off, getting back to feeling happier and healthier is what it’s all about. Summer 2021 here we come! I’ll let you know how my first week back goes and hopefully we can keep each other motivated and share some ideas.


Blog written by Jelka Ivanovic 

Follow @jelksjourneys on Facebook and Instagram 

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