3 Easy Steps For Getting Back Into Your Fitness Routine During a Lockdown

The coronavirus has had a massive impact on many industries. It has affected our personal lives, our relationships, and more. Staple industries like education, retail, and restaurants have been hit hard and are struggling to properly adapt to the shift online. But this is old news (at this point). What is interesting to see is that according to Yelp, there has been a 500% increase in home fitness equipment purchases. Another surprising increase to note is that of online fitness videos: since March of 2020, 73% of individuals are using pre-recorded video versus 17% in 2019 and 85% are using livestream sessions weekly versus 7% in 2019.

Clearly, while essential industries as old as time are struggling, a phoenix in online workouts has risen from the dust.

So, what exactly is the cause for this boom in the online fitness industry and how has COVID managed to have a positive impact?

More People Are Working Out During Quarantine

With stay-at-home orders being implemented across the world, it seems that people stuck at home are left with essentially two options on how to spend their new abundance of free time: workout, or don’t. In fact, more people seem to have incorporated a daily workout routine during quarantine. According the NY Post, 63% of people have taken some of this free time to get into better shape. In addition, Forbes also reported that since March 2020, 56% of US citizens report exercising at least 5 times per week. That is an extremely large jump.

This comes as no surprise, as maintaining good health and well-being has been on an upward trend for quite some time now despite a year plagued with global instability. So — with all the negatives of coronavirus — there seems to be at least one positive impact.

People Are Loving Online Fitness

Here is a classic scenario for those who are not so keen on working out: someone gets to the gym with their newly-acquired workout gear, their earphones in, and the motivation of a lion. They take one look around at the bodybuilders deadlifting 250+ lbs and Instagram influencers snapping pictures of their inspiring body transformations, and instantly feel the intimidation sink

in. Most people in this scenario will act like they forgot something in the locker room, then get their stuff and beeline towards the exit.

Sound like a familiar situation?

Fortunately, those days are history. Today, with live workout sessions and pre-recorded workouts in abundance, one has to simply focus on themselves.

Even those buff bodybuilders and fit Instagram models are loving the online transition. In a recent survey, 46% of participants stated that they intend to make virtual classes a regular part of their routine, even after studios reopen. If you are a gym or fitness studio owner, that fact may have slightly disturbed you, but this next one will be even more disturbing: three in four Americans say it is actually easier than ever to maintain their fitness routines in the comfort of their own homes.

If you are not a gym owner, that fact probably reassured you that you are not alone. Why spend all the extra time getting to the gym and paying for so many unused resources, when you can simply join a live workout session and train at home?

Quarantine Promoted New Workout Methods

Like most aspects in life, online workouts are not for everyone. Some may be a bit uncomfortable with technology in general, not like the idea of “virtually” working out, or simply not have the resources to participate. While working out at your local gym is definitely one of the fastest and more effective methods of seeing results, there are other ways to stay active. More and more people are going on walks and bike rides, trying out yoga or meditation courses, or engaging in individual sports such as Tennis and Golf.

Others are finding rather creative ways to get their workout in. What is specifically appealing about getting creative with your fitness training is that it can prove to be very valuable in terms of money save and it also becomes your own workout.

VeryWellFit, an online library for keeping up with the best workout routines, diets and fitness trends suggests creative workout ideas you can customize to your own liking:

• Working out with Therabands

• Bleacher (Stairs) Workout

• Shadow Boxing or Self-Defense Workouts

The common element for the aforementioned workouts is convenience: inexpensive, no or little equipment needed and can be tailored to your liking!

Consequently, more people are starting to implement fitness into their daily routine and taking note of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The resources are endless, the opportunities boundless, and the motivation is growing more than ever before! (Note: the fact does still remain that online workouts are the most popular method of working out online.)

Quarantine Made Fitness Harder for Some

While quarantine has had a positive impact on fitness routines for a large portion of individuals, others unfortunately have fallen into a slump. No matter how much we love to train, as humans we always endure low and high momentums. In March of 2020 for instance, while nations across the world shut down, working out from home was not yet the norm. In fact, Fitbit, a manufacturer of activity trackers, found that American adults were 12 percent less active compared to the January period. Moreover, it is interesting to note that 27.8 percent of U.S adults had depression symptoms as of mid-April compared to only 8.5 percent pre-pandemic.

To be clear, this does not imply that the lack of fitness activity has caused depression rates to nearly quadruple, but that some elements of correlation are at play. Uncertainty about the future of our work, fear of contracting an unknown virus and being prohibited from seeing friends and family members in a social setting are all but unsettling.

For those that have fallen into a fitness slump and have a hard time of finding the motivation to get back into a modest training routine, we suggest you take the following approach.

Patience is Truly a Virtue

Patience is really the key to getting back into a healthy fitness routine. After being inactive for a considerable amount of time, we cannot expect to get back to our 100 percent on day one. We see this in the sports entertainment world where major athletes endure potentially career ending.

injuries every season. It usually takes a few games with diminished playing time to get back into your natural rhythm…unless of course your name is Lebron James.

For non-athletes, we must convince ourselves that we are athletes that getting back into our game – working out. Viewing it from this lens, we already feel a bit more confident about our prospects of getting back into good fitness routines. Once you get back to it, whether you are

training using virtual sessions or at the gym, it is important to start slow. Patience. Wide ranging evidence from epidemiological studies on sports-related injuries warn us that the risk of injuries significantly increases when we abruptly elevate the intensity of our workouts.

Here is a framework we recommend if you want to get back to normal pre-pandemic workout levels:

A 3 Week Fitness Plan to Reach Pre-Covid Workout Levels

First Week

Start at 50 percent of the workout intensity you were performing before Covid. If you were jogging 10 miles each morning before the pandemic, start jogging for 5 miles. Similarly, if you were training your biceps with 50lbs dumbbells, you might want to start with 25lbs on your first session to find your momentum.

Second Week

Return to 75 percent of your pre-pandemic workout capacity. So, if you were jogging 10 miles pre-Covid, you might want to aim for 7.5 miles in your second week. The idea is the same for other workouts.

Third Week

Attempt to get back to 100 percent of your pre-Covid workout intensity, but only if you feel ready and comfortable doing so.

These are simply guidelines and will change depending on the individual. The idea is for you to regain your momentum and not risk extreme soreness and disgust with working out upon your return. Some might want or need to start with 40 percent intensity in their first week, 60 percent in the second week and maybe 100 percent in their fourth or fifth week. It really all depends on your situation and how you feel comfortable getting back into it.

So, be patient, think like an athlete and gradually intensify your workouts to pre-pandemic levels once you feel confident you are ready.

The Silver Lining for The Fitness Community

The coronavirus has significantly increased peoples’ awareness about the importance of health and wellness. With all the negative headlines crowding the news these days, this is something we should take comfort in knowing and be proud of. The importance of staying in shape has always been extremely high, but with a virus looming, it is quite appropriate that people are valuing this more than ever. The virtual sessions and pre-recorded videos seem as though they are here to stay, and have been proven to be quite popular and effective.

As time goes on, there will only be more and more options and it seems as though one will never have to physically be at a gym to benefit from working out with high quality trainers and instructors. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are so many other ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and fit fitness into your daily routine.

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