Returning to exercise after lockdown

Has your fitness level decreased since the start of lockdown? We don’t blame you. With the world stuck inside and your favourite television series a button away, becoming a couch potato has been easier than ever.

Now that many restrictions have been lifted and you can return to some outdoor and indoor activities, it’s time to tie up your laces and get back out there. Here are a few things to remember when returning to exercise after so long:

Runner kneels to ties up her laces before exercising
A female runner ties the laces on her trainers

Ease your way back in

It’s ok if you’re not at the same level of fitness that you were before lockdown. With this in mind, it’s important that your workout is to your own ability so you don’t over-work your body and cause injury or even delay exercising for even longer.

Give yourself breaks

Try not to fit the past four months into a few weeks, it’s important to give yourself rest days so that your body has time to recover as well as time to help build muscle and strength.

Stick to a balanced diets

If during lockdown you’ve treated to yourself to more high in fat food, it’s time to make a few healthy swaps. Your diet is important for giving you energy to increase your activity levels. In particular, protein is important for helping improve muscle damage and recovery. It’s also important that you stay hydrated to help your body transport nutrients to boost your energy levels.

Stay motivated

This is something easier said than done! Have a think about why you want to exercise, is it to stay healthy, lose weight or improve your mental health. Use these reasons to encourage you to keep going. It also helps if you choose an activity you love such as gardening or swimming.

Or you could find a friend or family member who also wants to get fit and you can help share motivation to keep each other going.

Always warm up and cool down

It is vital that you warm up before physical activity to help raise your body temperature, reduce muscle soreness and increase blood flow to your muscles. Just as importantly, you need to cool down afterwards to bring your heart rate and blood pressure down. Stopping abruptly can cause dizziness or even fainting.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep

Sleep is so important not just for improving your general wellbeing but after a workout it helps to heal your body. The recommended duration of sleep for an adult to function at their best is between seven and nine hours.

Last of all, enjoy having the time to exercise – after months of being cooped up inside, it’s time to let out any stress or tension by getting your heart pumping!