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Fitness questions answered about getting back to the gym
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Your Fitness Questions Answered: Getting Back to the Gym

Last year everything around us was forced to close down for safety reasons, and it seemed like one place that was the first to close and last to reopen was our local gyms and fitness centers. Suddenly all of the home workout equipment was flying off the shelves, and it was impossible to buy weight sets, bicycles, or any other kind of fitness item. When they finally reopened, it was hard to transition back. It can be difficult getting back to the gym once it’s no longer part of your regular routine. So, we’ve listened to your questions and had a fitness expert answer them, and here’s what you need to do to get back on track!

How do I start exercising again and keep it going?

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Question:  I used to be super active, but not for a while now. What’s the best way to get started again?

Answer:  Jumping back on the fitness wagon can be overwhelming, but once you take that step, it will get easier. Let your fitness program guide you.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Set small goals you know you can reach
  • Don’t expect too much too soon
  • Start off easy and work your way back to your previous fitness level.

Most importantly, remember you were there once before, so don’t be hard on yourself. If you focus on feeling better and gaining more energy, the results will happen soon enough.

What can I do to stay motivated?

Woman-sitting-on-step-in-gym-resting-head-on-hand,-rear-viewQuestion: I try to stay on the machines in my workout, but inevitably I get bored and just give up. I know I need to work out, but how do I add variety and beat the boredom factor?

Answer: Exercise for a lot of people is a chore and therefore not a lot of fun. The best advice we can give about relieving boredom and staying motivated is to find an exercise you like/love to do. Adding variety to your workout will help you find new exercises that you enjoy and keep you motivated.

There is a large variety of things to try:

  • Start by thinking out of your comfort zone and take a crack at an activity you have never before attempted.
  • Get a friend to work out with you to make the time go by faster as you catch up.
  • Try working out at a different time of the day. If you usually head to the gym in the morning, going at night might be all you need to spark your interest in getting there.
  • Listen to upbeat music. This almost guarantees you’ll stay a little longer on each machine.

One last suggestion: try 10 minutes on a cardio machine. If you get bored, go to another machine for another 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter how or where you get it in as long as you get your heart rate up.

Should I do cardio or weights first?

Senior Woman Training with Weights

Question:  If I’m going to be doing both cardio (either a class or cardio machines) and weight training (machines/free weights), which is better to do first?

Answer:  According to many research studies, it really doesn’t matter as long as you get in both. What seems to work best is to have people try it both ways and do whichever order they find they can stay with. If you choose to start with weights, be sure to warm up the body for a few minutes on the treadmill or bike to get the muscles warmed up.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Do the one you find most challenging first. This will ensure you are not too tired and bored to tackle the one you enjoy most.
  • If you arrive at the gym tired and unfocused, doing cardio on a machine first will get your heart rate up while being stationary, and you can program the workout to best suit your energy level.

Remember, you can always increase the intensity level of the workout if you feel you can handle it. So the short answer is: Either. Start your workout with cardio or weights, then find out which order works best for you. What matters is that you stick with it. 

Conclusion

If you think back to before your gym shut down and you loved your routine and saw great results try to get back to the same routine. However, if you don’t have fond memories of those sweat-soaked days and weren’t really all that impressed with the results you were seeing, this could be the perfect time to reset and try something new. Try out some new classes or a new piece of equipment. You might find out that something you were experimenting with at home can move successfully to the gym as well and keep working at that. Or, you might realize that having a trainer or gym buddy gives you great results and perhaps fixes any of the damage that was done while working on your quarantine 15. Whatever you need to do to get back on track, now is the perfect time to get to it. 

Read Next:

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