Finally, gyms are opening their doors and we can’t get more excited. Just before you start from where you’ve stopped, try to listen to your body and see what it needs now.
The past year has impacted all of us on many levels. In this article, we are going to delve into how it affected us physically. We all felt that our strength, endurance, and physical fitness have faltered. A lazier lifestyle was unavoidable, even for those who committed to at-home workouts during the lockdown.
Your pre and post-pandemic body is not the same so you don’t have to return to your previous self, just stick to the idea of committing to daily movement. It is important to mention that COVID has taught us many lessons, one of them is that our life is more about finding balance rather than following a certain trend for barely physical reasons. So this time when you choose a workout routine, make sure to do what you enjoy. Here are some tips on how to begin exercising again the right way and without feeling anxious or stressed about your fitness schedule.
1 || Build A Healthy Foundation
When it comes to an effective workout it’s about quality not quantity. You need to make sure that you are doing even the simplest movements the right way in order to avoid injuries or working the wrong muscles and accelerate progress much faster. After all, what’s the point if you are putting all this effort in the wrong place. It is important that you don’t compare yourself to those fitness influencers on social media and focus on improving yourself at your own base.
“technique and appropriate force load can be the difference between injury and improvement.”
A good example of this is our running style. It develops as a habit without paying so much attention to flawless foot coordination. While in actual fact, not focusing on running properly with enough extending at the hip and an equal distance between flexion and extension can cause serious injuries in the kneecaps. So next time you are on the treadmill aim for approximately a 70-degree angle using a heel-strike [heel-to-toe] motion. Also, stretch your glutes and hamstrings pre-running to have enough range of motion and to avoid putting too much pressure on your joints.
Bottom line: focus on the form and the correct alignment of your body regardless of your fitness level.
2 || Be Aware Of Any Posture Misalignments
Sitting on our laptops and phones for prolonged periods of time took its toll on our posture. That said, it is so important to workout with these posture flaws in mind to avoid making rounded shoulders your default setting. The good news is, posture can be corrected through working out in the right way by strengthening the posterior muscles (the rhomboids) and stretching out the anterior muscles (the pectorals).
3 || Variety Is The Key
If you are sticking to the same routine with the same way, at the same speed, it is maybe time for some changes. Minor changes are your way to alter body composition. By using different energy systems, different muscle fibers, and experimenting with a variety of weights and levels you will get faster body transforming results. Keep things spiced up by changing the environment; try an outdoor run, run a set of stairs, do a fitness circuit, take a boxing lesson. If you prefer sticking to a certain routine, make sure to introduce a new variation or level of intensity every 4-6 weeks.
4 || Commit To A Comprehensive Plan
This means make it sustainable. You need to set a long- and short-term goals, prioritize nutrition, supplementation, cardio, and weight training.
5 || It Is All About Recovery
To avoid injuries and up your workout efficiency you need to include pre and post workout practices. Always do 5 – 10 minutes warm up to prepare muscles, raise body temperature and increase body’s range of motion. Don’t skip the cool down stretches after your workout. A good post-workout practice trainers swear by is foam rolling to increase circulation and reduce tightness. You can also try steaming, Epsom salt baths, and ice baths to maximize recovery.