After a year away of any form of gym membership and being so dependent on that being a key component of fitness, getting back into the routine can be quite a challenge. Not that I’ve been an absolute slouch whilst bumming it off on a ski season and working in Nice, yet there’s not been that consistency in developing lean muscle. Luckily, I have maintained a decent core level of fitness through snowboarding, swimming and running to have settled back into a more routined approach to fitness. Here’s my top tips for getting back into the swing of things:
- Patience is a virtue! In a world and generation where we expect beach bod brilliance from a singular squat, you aren’t going to be at the level you once adhered to. Instead, slowly wade yourself through the backward steps to get yourself back in front.
- Don’t go in thinking you’re where you were 12 months ago – Premature emasculation, similar to it’s phonetic sounding partner, is when you think you’ve done a little too quickly (note: not a scientific term, I just made it up). Think logically about your movements. Your brain won’t be used to the monotonous motion of a squat if all you’ve done recently is swimming. I found this out the hard way….
- Find the right gym for you. There are plenty of gyms that are suitable for various people for different reasons. Do your research and trial it out before whacking down a membership fee!
- Ask questions – Far too often people get intimidated by the gym or stick to their comfort zone. Branch out and communicate with others who do what you would hope to. It tends to be the case that they’re willing to help and you boost their ego a little bit too!
- GOALS – Set a target for yourself, whether it be weight loss, strength or simply to feel confident in fitness again. Small, tangible steps are better than aiming for Arnie within the first 6 weeks!
- ROUTINE – There’s nothing worse than having 3 sessions, whatever they may be, to then go away for 5 days and forget that too much cake will make you sick! Stay concentrated and motivated and fit in some form of exercise as regularly as possible.
- VARIETY – The body craves experimentation. If you had a chocolate ice cream every time Mr Whippy wandered down the street, you’d eventually get bored. Your body does too. Keep that temple of yours surprised and throw in irregular movements, more conditioning, less weights, higher reps, swimming, a jog, WHATEVER it may be!
- A gym partner. This may not be everyones cup of tea (you can tell I’m from England now) but somebody there to motivate and discipline is a really nice touch. It’s also good to have them there if you want to pig out afterwards.
- EAT HEALTHY – There’s no point in adding those plates to the bar if you are then munching down a pack of hobnobs for your post gym treat! Work with your macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) to find a healthy blend filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Exercise releases plenty of hormones from our hypothalamus in our brain, most of which secrete around our body to either tire us out or make us feel good. For everyone with the ability, it’s an amazing feeling to embrace a fit and healthy lifestyle and to share that with the people around us. Get out there and make your body and mind feel empowered!