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How to get active again – safely

The UK’s lockdown is slowly lifting, and it’s not just shops and restaurants that are reopening: gyms are starting to offer outdoor classes and get their members back into their full exercise regimes.

While full service hasn’t resumed, the reopening of some gyms and leisure centres, combined with the relaxation of limits for outdoor exercise from once a day to as many as you need, means that many fitness fans will be easing themselves back into exercise.

Now that you’re able to get out more, doesn’t mean that your fitness regime can return to normal, particularly if you’ve spent the lockdown relaxing and haven’t maintained your usual fitness schedule.

Even if you spent the lockdown bench pressing your sofa and doing 100 push-ups a day (and, let’s face it, very few of us can honestly say that we have), you still need to be careful when you start exercising more frequently and vigorously.

If you’re looking to get back to peak fitness in time for summer, then these tips should help you to get active safely and sustainably.

Consult Your Personal Trainer

Personal Trainers are slowly getting back to work supporting their customers outside. Some didn’t ever stop working and have been offering online workouts and video conferenced support throughout the lockdown. Contact your Personal Trainer to find out if they’re able to offer you a consultation and discuss your return to exercise. They can talk you through the activities, stretches, warm-ups and cool-downs that you should use to ensure that you restart your exercise regime in a safe and healthy way.

Adjust Your Fitness Goals

After so much time spent inactive, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll immediately return to your old form. As such, when you talk to your Personal Trainer, you should adjust your goals and create realistic expectations, so that you don’t overexert yourself. Ask them for advice on how you can train your body again and for any tips on getting back to peak performance without hurting yourself.

Treat Any Stiffness, Discomfort Or Injury Promptly

If you start to notice any strain, stiffness, general discomfort, or even minor injuries after you first start exercising again, then take action immediately. If the problem is in your joints, then use a support bandage and pain relief gel, and if in doubt, consult your doctor. For muscular pain, consider getting a massage to relax your body and help to relieve tension. For those looking for massage therapy in London, Massaggi is one of the most experienced clinics in the capital and can offer sports massages that will get you back to full fitness in no time.

Of course, if you are based in Essex you can look for massage and other types of therapists in the Healthy Life Essex Complementary Therapists in Essex Directory.

Join An Outdoor Class

Exercising with others can help to keep you motivated, and it’s also one of the best options right now, as there is still no cure or vaccine for the Coronavirus. As many gyms are now offering outdoor classes, consider joining one so that you’re motivated and in close proximity to a fitness professional, in case anything happens.

In Southend, for example, Active Life has just launched a series of ‘silent classes’ in Chalkwell Park.  They are ‘normal’ classes – obviously with social distancing in place – and everyone wears a headset (all sanitised!) to listen to the music.

Build A Healthy Meal Plan

The lockdown and pandemic have both taken their toll on the mental health of the nation, so it’s understandable that many people will have turned to food as a source of comfort. Starchy, sugary, salty and fatty foods, as well as processed meals and snacks, are the comfort foods of choice, so you might find that you need to adjust your diet now that you’re returning to your previous fitness regime. Build a meal plan that will help you to achieve your fitness goals, so that your body always has the fuel it needs.

A Mediterranean Diet focusing on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil, fish and seafood a couple of times a week, moderate dairy and egg, occasional poultry and red meat even less often is the best option for long-term health and vitality.

Getting back to full fitness can be a long process, especially if you abandoned your fitness regime when the lockdown was instated. Make sure that you ease yourself back into exercise and use these tips to ensure that you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself.

Fitness image by netjumps from Pixabay

Massage image by Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay

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