8 tips when returning to the gym.
After almost a year of being at home for school, work, living, etc., many are starting to venture out to the gym for the first time or back to exercise after a lengthy absence. For your safety and enjoyment please consider the following.
Here are 8 tips to keep it safe and have fun:
- Consult a Doctor. If your medical history suggests it, talk to your doctor before hitting the gym. Anyone with significant medical conditions should consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine.
- Don’t overdo it. If you haven’t been to the gym in a while, do not attempt to workout at the same level you were at during the last visit. Research shows you lose cardiovascular condition and muscle in a matter of weeks. Go easy on yourself, and set some realistic goals. If you haven’t been active in a while, your risk for injury is higher, so don’t overdo it.
- Regular exercise means you need to develop a new habit. Regardless of the amount of time it’s been since your last workout, it’s going to take time and repetition to reach that level again. It is said that it takes 21 days to build a habit, so start slow and add from there. A good goal may be to go to the gym two days a week until it’s a habit and then consider adding more days per week or more time per visit.
- Sore muscles may return. It’s normal to feel sore for a few days after not working out for a while. Stick to exercises you’re familiar with and keep your total sets and reps low at first to minimize soreness. Nutrition and recovery are also especially important. Consider talking to a trainer to learn more.
- Muscles need to heal. When you engage in weight bearing exercise, you actually do some damage to the muscle tissue. As the tissue heals itself, it becomes stronger. When you overwork your muscles, the muscle tissue never has the chance to heal. Plan to work different muscles each day, so the muscles have a day to heal.
- Consider hiring a trainer. Your risk of injury is at the highest when you are new to the gym or new back to the gym. A personal trainer can help identify your previous level strengths and weaknesses and work with you to create a path to a stronger body. Even hiring a trainer for a short period of time can help. You can always take what you’ve learned and continue by yourself, then rehire the trainer if or when you reach a plateau.
- Have fun! For many of us, going to the gym has brought joy and fun. Life is meant for living, so enjoy the time you spend at the gym. Smile, laugh, lift, and run. Having a good balance in life helps keep everything in perspective.
- Bring a friend for accountability. Having a friend who expects to see you in the gym provides additional accountability and motivation on those days when you might otherwise want to blow off going to the gym.
There is more than one way to enjoy what PHF has to offer. You don’t have to be a member to benefit from our trainers, coaches and experts.
- Personal Training [non-members welcome]
- Masters Swim Program [non-members welcome]