Are you Fearful About Returning to the Gym?
What once seemed abnormal, has become a daily part of our routine amid the Coronavirus pandemic. We carry bottles of hand sanitizer wherever we go and for many of us we wear a mask whenever we leave the house. There is a balance to be struck between doing everything to keep yourself as safe as possible and taking the first tentative steps to reestablishing your old routines. For many of us who have now got too used to this imposed new life and routine, there can be a distinct fear about returning to the gym.
You might be nervous about entering a relatively confined space with humans exercising after a long period in lockdown. You might feel self-conscious using protective equipment when you work out. Or perhaps, you have put on weight during the lockdown period and you are feeling anxious about returning to the gym and being judged. In this blog, we will look at five ways that may help get you back to your gym routine safely and smoothly.
Things that may Help
Integrate yourself slowly
Be kind to yourself and understand that your body and mind have been asked to adjust to a new normal in a relatively short space of time. Do not expect to simply slot back into your old gym routine that you knew before the coronavirus. Take a strategic approach to ensure that you are ready mentally and physically to return to the gym safely.
If possible, plan to go to the gym at an off-peak time to ensure that you are able to socially distance effectively while doing your workout. Before you enter the gym, take time to work out a short, sharp, simplified session that will be as effective as possible while using a minimum of equipment to ensure safety and provide peace of mind.
Do not feel pressurized to be at the gym several times a week when the doors finally open. Combine the traction of your home gym routine with small steps at the gym. First try one day a week at the gym, and when you feel comfortable move it to two and three days when you feel ready.
Bring your own equipment (in moderation!)
During the Coronavirus we have to do everything in our power to keep our workouts at the gym as safe as possible, not only for us, but for our fellow gym goers. Where possible, try and bring your own equipment to ensure a safe workout, including your own pre-filled water bottles, workout bands, yoga mats and towels. Evidently, each gym will have each own cleaning process, but complement it by bringing as much of your own equipment as possible to make each visit to the gym as safe as possible.
Remember that a simple plan before each workout is essential to ensure that you are bringing exactly the right equipment you need before you enter the gym door. Do an inventory of what equipment you have in the house, and don’t hesitate to restock on essentials you need to make your visit to the gym that bit safer.
Contact your Gym
Gym staff have never had to work so hard, or adapt so quickly as they have during this Coronavirus. When possible call ahead to the gym, or even take time to speak to the staff before your workout to build a knowledge of their cleaning routines and updated Coronavirus rules and regulations. By building this knowledge, you will be able to not only ensure your own health and safety but ensure that there are no issues in communication breakdown when you start your workout.
Most gyms will ensure that cleaning levels are lifted substantially and occupancy levels at the gym are down for the foreseeable future. Work with the gym staff to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to ensure that the gym can keep operating safely and effectively during this period. Your cooperation will be extremely appreciated by the staff and will lead to a far calmer and effective workout when you are in the gym.
Take responsibility not only for your own hygiene in the gym at the workout area but think of others. As a fitness community we need to clean/wash/wipe personal belongings after each session – including hand towels, phones, water bottles, headphones and any other personal belongings you have with you.
Before Coronavirus the gym was a place where we could meet friends and interact with a broader fitness community. The gym by its nature was a social place where friendships were forged that helped push us to the next level in our fitness journey.
We were able to share workout ideas and share our progress in a social environment. Unfortunately, times have changed in the gym, and we all need to adapt to the new normal. During your workout, focus on what you want to achieve and when possible limit human interaction. Try planning your workout in a quiet part of the gym with little foot traffic.
After establishing the best off-peak times to go, consider wearing a baseball cap and headphones to ensure that you are fully focused on your workout and unable to engage socially. This can be a simple way off telling people that you are off limits for conversations. Speak to the gym staff and get their advice on the best possible protective equipment, whether they are masks or gloves. If you have concerns about being judged, take time to shop online, taking time to consider the style, efficacy and discretion before you buy.
That is not to say that we should jeopardize the friendships that we have built in the gym; we need them more than ever. Utilize technology such as Strava and Zoom calls to share your progress and drive each other to the next level. During this period of increased social isolation, there has never been a better time to connect and hold one another accountable in your fitness goals.
Still not Convinced?
Lacing up your sneakers and taking that first step into the gym during Coronavirus can undoubtedly be daunting, and for some, there is nothing wrong with continuing your exercise routine at home. We have all had to adapt our fitness routine, and in doing so, we have found out that a home gym routine can be just as effective as driving to the gym.
If you do want to enhance your home gym to replicate what you had in your old gym, or simply want to take your home fitness regime to the next level, there has never been a better time.
Rubcorp’s Performance Line has been specifically designed to reinvigorate your home workout lifestyle, taking your home gym surface to the next level, and ensuring that you can always be ready to achieve your fitness goals. Get in touch and let me tell you more about Rubcorp’s unique Health and Performance surfacing properties, that will ensure you are ready for anything the world throws at you!