Easing your way back into exercise at the gym

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Ciarán McMullan

MANY of us are, no doubt, planning to get back to the gym now that lockdown restrictions have eased somewhat. However, it’s important to have a plan in place before you go back, don’t just turn up on the day and decide what to do. Sometimes if we have no plan seeing what others are doing may affect our training as we compare and contrast ourselves to other

Don’t try and go straight back to the level you were at before lockdown as your strength will probably not be the same. It would be very silly to believe you will be able to knock out the same reps and weights you did beforehand leading to soreness and possible injury.

Make your sessions enjoyable and stick to the exercises you like for the first few weeks. This will build confidence and will let you get more relaxed in the gym setting again.

Bring a friend along, someone that will help and support you to do the sessions. It can help to get people relaxed and not to worry about what’s going on around them. Sometimes it adds a bit of fun competition to the session.

Set yourself some targets for the week ahead, make them specific to your own goals and track how you will measure them. This will give you focus on making progression, but not make you feel overwhelmed. Remember if you don’t hit the goals it’s not a big deal as there is plenty of time for that.

Overall, make sure you are ready to go back to the gym before you actually do. Make sure you are injury free and want to get back training. Not everyone will want to run back as the past year has been full of anxiety and worry for people.

Exercise can help alleviate some of these mental health conditions when they are done in a safe and structured environment.

Ciarán McMullan is a former St Enda’s Gaelic footballer and League Cup winning midfielder with Cliftonville FC. He currently works as a personal trainer in Belfast. For more information on any health and fitness related topics or to register interest in his fat loss programmes contact him on Instagram and Facebook: @CMCMfitness or drop him an e-mail: CMCMfitness@hotmail.com

PIC: JUAN PABLO RODRIGUEZ

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