Ask Yourself: Is your body ready to go back to the gym?
Written by: Liz
Category: General Health
Published on: August 11, 2020

What a year 2020 has been. Corona-virus has really put a spanner in the works for so many people! After Victoria’s first lock down we saw gyms just starting to open up and then BOOM – a second lock down happened!

Finally, we have come out of it and we are all pushing forward. But, as gyms start to open up again, many of us are ‘keen as mustard’ to get back to our regular workout or even start a new exercise routine but, there’s something that all of us should be asking… is my body ready to go back to the gym? 

If you haven’t done any exercise (or very little) in the last 6 months chances are that you’ll need a review of where your current exercise capacity is! Now this is even if you have been doing your at home workouts or doing family friendly exercise sessions. You may be in for a nasty shock to find that your fitness level is just not where it used to be pre-covid!

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) wants to remind those that are heading back to their usual workouts of the importance of starting slow and getting the right advice before jumping back into your ‘normal’ gym routine. I would suggest that although a lot of you are extremely happy to have the gyms opening up, some individuals may be placing their body at increased risk of serious injury which could easily see them out for another 3-6months all for failing to seek the right advice. 

Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive Officer says, “Whilst protecting ourselves and other people from the COVID-19 virus is important at the gym, we also need to make sure that we are exercising right for our current health and physical fitness because, for some, this may have changed significantly over the lock down period”. 

For those individuals who completed at home workouts I commend you for this. It’s not easy motivating yourself when you are surrounded by the same 4 walls everyday with extra stressors and minimal workout equipment. Unfortunately, you will still experience ‘detraining’ or ‘deconditioning’ as a consequence of not having access to facilities you otherwise would have, including your usual exercise routine and executing it at the same intensity.

Research shows that ‘detraining’ can occur after just 2 weeks of not training in your usual manner with the same load and intensity and this affects your muscle strength, size and endurance. Detraining can lead to injuries if an individual attempts to jump straight back into their previous exercise routine after a period of no training or a decrease in training load.

So my advice would be to consider talking to and accredited health professional such as an exercise physiologist or exercise scientist for individual advice on how to gradually introduce exercise and when to increase intensity and duration to reduce their risk of injury.

Here at Revitalize Exercise Physiology + Pilates we are happy and open to having a chat to anyone who is seeking advice on how to get back into exercise after such as long break. All you need to do is reach out (03) 9016-3415. 

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