Manage your post-lockdown gym anxieties with these tips
The past year or so has given us a lot to unpack, we get it. You might not have been to the gym for a variety of reasons: the gyms in your city were closed, you’ve had other things to deal with, or perhaps you were just uncomfortable heading into one. Now that things are opening up again, you’re ready to dive back in.
But wait, what is that feeling of anxiety you have about your impending return? First things first, know that you’re not alone in this. Not only have gyms changed, so have you! You may be more out of shape than you’d like or much less fit than you’ve ever been, and that’s okay.
What’s most important is that you’re taking your first steps back into fitness, and we’ve got some tips to help you along the way.
You’ve Got A Friend In Me
Sure, you may know your way around the gym but how about some emotional solidarity? On your first few visits back to the gym, why not bring a friend for company? Having a companion gives you a confidence push, works as a distraction, and can also serve as motivation. Who knows, this person might end up being your new long-term fitness buddy on your renewed journey towards a healthier lifestyle. #friendsforever
Be A Lover, Not A Fighter
Yes, fitness can be intense but there’s no reason why you can’t also pair it with calm, clarity, and kindness. As you ease your way back in, don’t expect too much from yourself. It will take a while for you to return to your former glory – just remember that with every visit, you’re one step closer towards your goals. And while you’re at it, treat everyone else you encounter the same too. Chances are, many others feel the same anxieties as you so #payitforward and spread kindness and love!
I Am What I Am
Whatever shape you’re in – or feel that you’re in – this is you now, so embrace yourself for who and what you are. This does not mean that you shouldn’t have fitness goals or want to get healthier and be in better shape. What it means is that you should recognise that you are a work in progress, no matter what stage of a fitness programme you are at, and that is okay. As long as you’re making some head way – even just stepping back into the gym – you’re moving in the right direction. #allaboardthefitnesstrain
Watch Your Step
Often, we overcompensate for our anxieties by throwing ourselves all in. While that spirit is admirable, our bodies don’t always work that way. When you were taking time out from the gym, your body went through deconditioning. This means that it’s not able to navigate at the speed, weights, and intensity you formerly could. So take it easy, make sure you warm up well, drop your weights and listen to your body (Which part is aching? What is feeling more difficult than before?). Adjust as necessary and slowly work your way back up. You’ll get there for sure!
You know how you might write a to-do list to help ease your anxieties on a day to day basis? Well, the gym is no different. If you’re worried about getting back to the gym, start by planning your workouts. This doesn’t just mean figuring out which exercises and weights you want to go for, but also aspects like whether you do cardio on your own or join a class. Having a plan helps prepare you to take on whatever comes your way. It is also a great way to avoid idle time (which enables your anxieties to resurface) because you know where you’re heading and what workout you’re going to do next.