By Zoe Bradbury
The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed almost every habitual routine that society knows. In particular, gyms and fitness routines have been hit significantly hard.
Many continue to adjust to the new reality of home-workouts, or if one is lucky enough that gyms are reopening in their area, there comes a new range of modifications, from working out with face masks, to sanitising every surface in sight.
It’s enough to leave anyone feeling anxious, or as if they are stuck in a fitness rut.
According to data released by Fitbit, a vast majority of people around the world felt the impact of coronavirus on their activity levels.
Countries in Europe saw a seven to 38 per cent decline in step counts in March, while activity levels in China were significantly lower compared to the same time last year.
And with many countries not over the covid-wave yet, chances are further lockdowns could be on the horizon. Adapt now and implement these fitness hacks to make returning to exercise easier than ever before.
When people do return to exercising, it’s likely that muscles will be feeling tighter, aerobic capacity and muscle mass will be diminished, and the chance of injury is greater, says exercise physiologist Tom Holland in Men’s Journal.
As a result, it’s likely people will experience pretty serious DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This occurs after the muscles have undergone small microscopic tears following contractions such as running or using weights, according to WebMD.
This increased muscle soreness can be enough for people to re-put down the weights, but a simple combination of rest, stretching and massaging can help reduce pain and tightness.
Want to make this process even easier? Opt for a muscle massaging gun, such as the Theragun. The Theragun uses Smart Percussive Therapy to repel on and off the body up to 40 times per second – which packs a punch when it comes to pain relief, reaching up to 60 per cent deeper than other massage devices.
With the recent fourth generation update, the new Theragun is even quieter than before, with a new motor making it as quiet as an electric toothbrush. As such, it’s perfect for those still stuck in isolation and not wanting to disturb others inside.
And for those especially tender muscles, the new Supersoft attachment is ideal, with a sponge-top that delivers an impact level of 1/10. While this doesn’t seem like much impact, it’s perfect for coming out of exercise-retirement, with muscles thanking you later.
Getting back to the gym after a period of inactivity can be hard both physically and mentally.
Providing an added boost of motivation, energy and getting your focus into gear, a pre-workout supplement can be beneficial for those returning to exercise.
Our current favourite is the True Protein PRE Blend. Containing an impressive blend of amino acids and just 11 ingredients, this pre workout helps to maximise performance by fuelling the muscles with the energy they need before a gym session.
It’s also all natural, meaning you’re unlikely to ‘crash’ after expending your energy. There’s also both caffeine and caffeine-free options, which is great if you’re sensitive to caffeine or if you prefer training at night.
Available in flavours Apple Coconut, Orange Sensation or Lemon Burst, this pre-workout isn’t overly sweet like others, and it doesn’t sit heavily or unpleasantly in the stomach.
However, pre-workouts aren’t suitable for everyone. Many options include beta-alanine, an essential acid that assists with lean muscle growth and energy levels.
Unfortunately, this can often cause skin tingling or itching. This feeling can be unpleasant, but it’s not long-lasting or detrimental.
Without a proper plan or guide, returning to the gym can be daunting and lead to many questions. What muscles should you work on first? What meals compliment a return to training? Which workouts are the most beneficial? Has your form slackened?
Having an added level of support from a training program or app can allow one to ease back into healthy routines without being overwhelmed.
Look no further than Chris Hemsworth’s health and fitness app Centr.
Centr features a range of guided and self-guided workouts varying from HIIT, boxing, yoga, strength training, and MMA fighting, with the majority either able to be completed at home or with minimal equipment in a gym.
Recently, the newest program on offer, Centr Unleashed, takes things back to basics, offering a six-week block of training that just uses bodyweight exercises. It’s ideal for those still stuck in isolation but wanting to keep their cardiovascular fitness in prime condition.
Over the six weeks, the workouts progressively get harder and longer, creating a real challenge. One of the most beneficial parts of this program, and the Centr app as a whole, is that it allows you to work out without having to think or plan prior.
It’s great for motivation, with Hemsworth’s own trainer Luke Zocchi taking the helm as one of the lead trainers.
Additionally, Centr also provides meal plans tailored to personal goals, with an impressive bank of inventive recipes. Other features include guided meditation, offering a holistic approach to health.
For just $10 a month, it’s cheaper than the average gym membership – and more convenient.
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