Going Back to The Gym
It’s been a long time since even the most enthusiastic gym-goers have been able to exercise regularly at the gym, with restrictions tightened, eased and tightened again with little notice over the course of 2020 and into 2021. With an end in sight at last, gyms are tentatively scheduled to reopen in April this year, and today we’re taking a look at how you get back up to speed, the things you might have forgotten, and lifehacks that help you get the best out of a gym session.
What Goes in a Gym Bag?
Packing your gym bag is an art you may have forgotten. Slinging a pair of shorts and a t-shirt in there on your way out the door just isn’t enough.
Don’t neglect your hydration. A work out, even under the controlled conditions of a gym, puts stress on your body, speeds up your metabolism and raises your temperature. You sweat, and you can put a serious dent in your body’s fluid reserves, along with the essential electrolytes that are held, dissolved, in them. If you don’t hydrate effectively after a workout, you might find it takes you longer to recover, along with headaches, muscle aches, and more serious symptoms if you’re already dehydrated.
A product like ORS rehydration tablets redresses the balance, and gives you everything you need to aid your post-workout recovery, so make sure you’re packing for rehydration too.
Don’t forget, during this interruption to normal life, your level of fitness may have decreased – or at least changed. Even if you’ve been scrupulous about working out at home, you’ve been working out differently to your normal gym routine and different muscles have been toned while others are relaxed. If you go straight back to a lifting routine you’ve not been keeping up with for 18 months you could do yourself some serious damage!
Start with a smaller workout, and assess your state of fitness – in the company of a coach or instructor if possible! When you know where you stand, you can set a routine that pushes and develops you, not overwhelms you and risks injury.
Your Playlist Can Be a Timer
Lots of people have a favourite playlist they work through while they’re working out, but you can take a more constructive approach than just dumping a selection of great workout songs on there and hitting shuffle.
Make a playlist that lasts the length of a typical gym session – if your routine is half an hour after work, build a 30 minute playlist, and you can work steadily for that length of time rather than losing focus to check your watch or phone.
If you want to make it even more useful, you can use songs to signal changes of pace, or to tell you when to switch to new activities. It’s a great way to guide you through a whole session without breaking your rhythm.