As restrictions loosen and our days stuck inside come to a close, many are looking to return to the gym. For a lot of people a gym environment is the best environment to get a really satisfying workout. After the past year or so, many are stepping back inside of the gym for the first time in a very long time, and need a bit of advice ahead of the big return. In this article, we’ll break down the two major factors that raise concerns among gym patrons — COVID-19 policies and injuries. As we explore how to successfully start going to the gym again, we’ll share tips that will keep you safe, healthy and fit. With the right plan and the right Pittsburgh personal trainer, you’ll be back in your groove in no time.
Gyms are back open and restrictions are loosening, but that doesn’t mean everyone is ready to be the first back to the gym. Understandably, there are a lot of concerns about staying safe and healthy while working out around others, especially in an indoor environment. If you are feeling nervous about being around lots of people for the first time in a while, you are not alone. To get started, you may want to find a Pittsburgh personal trainer or a small group class to attend before hitting the open gym equipment. Call ahead to gather information about mask policies and other social distancing protocols so you can plan ahead. By starting out in an environment with only a few people, you can slowly work your way into the open gym.
The gym etiquette from before lockdown is long gone, many gyms have changed their policies as they have reopened. Everything from sanitization, masks, and social distancing have changed the average gym experience forever. If you are nervous about accidentally disobeying the rules, make sure to call ahead or even ask a friend how the new policies are implemented. There may also be changes in total capacity as some machines may be offline to promote social distancing.
In general when going to the gym after lockdown, you should be extra careful when sanitizing your machines, always have a mask on you, and respect all employee and gym patron social distancing policies. If you are unsure of the policies before arriving, a trainer or other gym staff can give you a run down of how to safely workout inside.
Since gyms were closed for so long, it's possible that you’re just resuming working out again or are getting back to your old gym routine. Any time you start, or restart an exercise program it is important to set challenging yet realistic goals for yourself. When you go back to the gym for the first time in a while, it is tempting to get in a hard workout right off the bat. However, this is not always the best idea because starting too strong could lead to injury. To set the right kind of goals, we’ve created a checklist so you can set a reasonable goal before setting foot back in the gym:
Before you set your goal, consult this list and make sure you are setting yourself up for success. You should push yourself, but remember to do everything you can to avoid injury.
There are a lot of ways to ease back into exercise depending on the type of exercise you enjoy the most. For example, those who love running should start slowly jogging or even walking and work their way up to speed each day. For people who are more interested in lifting weights, more reps at a lower weight are the way to go. Should you dive right into heavy lifting after over a year off, you will be putting yourself at higher risk for injury. If you are unsure where to start or concerned about potential injury, consult a personal trainer that can help you get off to the right start.
Taking days of rest is also an important part of training properly, while it may seem like we had too many days off during lockdown, it's still not a good idea to go from 0-100 in your exercise routine.
If you have questions about beginning a new workout program, you can always consult one of X Shadyside’s Pittsburgh personal trainers. With over 50 years of combined experience, our trainers provide the highest quality, results-driven fitness programs for members in any stage of your fitness journey. You can contact X Shadyside today to join one of the best gyms in the city and get more information about our COVID-19 policies.
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