Is it time to get moving (again)?
Updated: Aug 19
This year has had its fair amount of challenges, set backs and WTF’s for many of us. And from speaking with many of our members and our wider community it’s becoming more apparent that these lockdowns have effected peoples exercise routines significantly.
I’m not meaning the obvious, like the fact that we can’t go to a gym right now (if you’re in Melbourne). But just that, apart from the occasional walk, many people have completely stopped their moderate to vigorous activity altogether.
Whether it’s because you’re up to your eyeballs in homeschooling, trying to save a business (or find work), or that the whole situation is causing you crippling stress and anxiety, or maybe you’re stuck in a place of grief for what we’re missing out on (your normal life), or maybe it’s just because you’ve been stuck in a social media and news scrolling session since March. Whatever the reason, the fact is many people have (and I appreciate in some cases, have had to) put exercise lower on the priority list and are moving far less and at much much lower intensities as a result.
The good news is, I think people are becoming more aware of this as we dive further into these lockdowns and this weird new ‘normal’ (that’s completely not normal) day to day, people are beginning to want to take back some control, create a sense of purpose in their day and are looking to get moving again.
Now before you chuck your sneakers on and head out for a 10k run or crush a 500rep leg session, it’s important that you consider a few things to ensure that a) It’s sustainable and you avoid injuring yourself. b) It helps you feel good and that it’s not used as some kind of punishment or trigger feelings of guilt, shame or judgement about yourself.
Because let’s face it, if it’s been a while since you’ve done something, that first walk or workout can seem like a 28 day hike in Nepal. So let’s take a sec, chill dude and work your way back into the game. You got this!
1). It’s not a race - If you’ve been a little more Netflix and chill and a little less forest gump these last 4 or so months, it’s important that you don’t jump out of the gate all guns blazing. Start slow, start with a walk, then maybe a shuffle/walk then a jog/walk and so on. Using an app like couch to 5k can help you progressively build up your running.
If you’re getting back into some strength work, start with full body workouts with lighter weights and around the 15-20rep range for 20min. Then after a few weeks add a bit more weight, drop the reps/rests between, add a couple more exercises and extend the workout by 10min or so.
Expect some soreness, it’s inevitable, but to minimise it, stretch, foam roll and walk in between workouts.
Here’s a good weekly split to start with:
Mon: Cardio (Walk/run)
Tues: Strength 20-30min
Thur: Strength 20-30min
Sat: Mix if Strength + Cardio (run/power walk etc)
Then just gradually build up workout times from there.
2). Do things you enjoy or that make you feel good. - Doing hill sprints just because Sally from down the street does them or doing some crazy leg workout just because a fitness influencer says you should isn’t necessarily the right intention for a healthy relationship with exercise. If you like to dance, If you like yoga or if you like lifting weights, you do you!
With that said, I do believe everyone needs a couple of strength sessions and some moderate to vigorous cardiovascular each week. But do your best to tick these boxes with activities that you enjoy.
If you enjoy it, you’re going to do it more often and the bi-product of that will be better health and function for your body and mind.
3). Celebrate the wins and let it go when you slip - Beating yourself up because you miss a workout is not going to create better results. It will just emphasise feelings of guilt and shame associated with exercise, so just let it go, move on and focus on the next opportunity to move your body.
It’s important to focus on the positives, each time you complete something g you’ve set out to do, stop and celebrate that win, like really celebrate it. You will start to engrain more positive feelings around exercise, which the brain seeks more of, which will only lead to more of the good stuff. Now go get it!