When the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores earlier this year, businesses all around the country were forced to shut down in order to flatten the curve. One of the biggest forms of business that was shut down was gyms. People all over the country were suddenly told they couldn’t go to the gym due to the risk of being around people or touching equipment that others have touched. Fast forward several months and depending on where you are in the country, gyms have either been opened or they’re beginning to open again. While that can be exciting, especially if you’ve struggled to keep up with your workouts while in quarantine, it’s important you’re still conscious about the pandemic and staying as healthy as possible when attending the gym. Here are a few tips to help you return to the gym safely during the pandemic.
Social distancing is of the utmost importance in all facets of life right now. While the circumstances can make it difficult at times, staying at least six feet away from others is a good way to stop the spread. Gyms will likely be enforcing this to the best of their ability, but it’s your personal responsibility to be aware. If you or someone near you is breathing heavily while working out, it’s probably best that you get even further away. This can be difficult depending on the layout of your gym though, so if you don’t think you can get 6 feet away, you might be better off not going to the gym.
Wear A Mask
While nobody wants to wear a mask while they’re working out, chances are your gym is going to make you do it anyway. Everywhere in the country is different but most places will make masks mandatory, especially since it’s likely due to state law. Beyond wearing a mask because you’re being told to, it’s just the healthy and considerate thing to do! If you don’t want to wear a mask while you workout, you might be better off doing it from the comfort of your home. In terms of other equipment, you might want to bring your own water bottle as well since water fountains won’t be open.
Avoid Group Classes
If you’re someone who typically attended group classes at your gym prior to the pandemic, it’s recommended you avoid them completely unless they’re outdoor or virtual. Indoor classes will likely be packed and even if they’re limiting the number of people in the classes, the fact that a large group of people will be gathering to do a high-intensity workout together indoors can make the virus spread faster.
Stay Home If You Don’t Feel Good
The ultimate advice for not only the gym but any situation where you’d be leaving your home and being around people is to stay home if you don’t feel well. No matter what your symptoms may be, it’s best to stay home until you recover both for your own health and the health of others.
Weight lifting is a wonderful way of increasing your own physical strength as well as improving your overall health. While lifting weights may seem straightforward at first, the truth is that there are many things that go into it, such as proper form and knowing your limits. Many beginners will assume they can just start lifting without having any prior knowledge but more often than not this ends with injury or just not making the progress they hope for. Lifting weights can also seem intimidating to first timers as they may fear that they look weak or perhaps they just don’t know where to start. Luckily, it’s not that hard to get a start in weight lifting and there’s plenty of helpful information out there. Here are a few tips to help you get into weight lifting.
It’s All About Technique
While lifting weights may often seem as simple as doing a few curls, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. You want to be sure you’re using the proper form and lifting techniques, otherwise you can injure yourself and likely won’t make as much progress as you’re hoping to make. One great way to learn proper lifting techniques for yourself is to take a class with a professional trainer. Trainers can show you exactly what you need to do and then work with you to make sure you’re doing it properly before you go off on your own. If you’re not willing to spend the money on a class, you can find plenty of education materials on the internet from professionals.
Figure Out The Perfect Weight
When you start lifting, it’s important you pick the appropriate weight for your body. You’ll likely have to experiment a little bit before you find the perfect fit. While you might want to gravitate toward heavier weights, it’s always better to start light and work your way up. A good way to figure out your weight is by getting an idea of how you’re feeling after a few sets of reps. For example, if you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps of bicep curls, your arms should be pretty tired by the time you get to the last set and even more tired for the last few reps. Your arms will likely be shaky by the time you’re done but if you’re feeling extremely uncomfortable then you’re likely going too heavy. If your sets are extremely easy, you’re likely going too light.
Remember Rest Days
While you may feel inclined to lift weights everyday due to wanting to see progress, it’s vital to your overall health that you take rest days. You’re likely going to get sore – this is a good thing. When doing any type of muscle training, your muscle tissue tears and then slowly repairs itself, which is how it gets stronger. If you don’t give it a break, it won’t ever get the chance to repair itself. So don’t over work your muscles. If you keep at it and stay healthy, you’ll see progress over time.
Even people who are casually working out likely set aside as much as 4 hours a week just for their gym time. And for those who find gym time enjoyable, this might be an excellent way to spend their time. However, for those who have to work up the strength just to enter the gym, a new study could save them the trouble.
According to the peer-reviewed journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, You may see similar results if you work out for just 13 minutes versus if you work out for a full half-hour.
The study took 3 different groups who performed different numbers of sets of exercises during 3 weekly training sessions. A low-volume exercise group which performed 1 set, a mid-volume group which performed 3 sets, and a high-volume group which performed 5 sets.
At the end of an 8 week trial, each participant’s strength and endurance was tested with squats and bench presses, as well as muscle hypertrophy – muscle growth.
The study showed no significant differences between the group’s results, having very close changes in muscle mass, strength, and endurance.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can just take a 13 minute walk and see massive results. This study focused on high-intensity workouts with compound movements – each exercise should use multiple muscle groups.
Many have espoused the benefits of a high-intensity and short-interval exercise, and this study supports a very similar approach. High-intensity exercise pushes far more muscle growth than low-intensity exercise, and can be far more effective for improving performance rather than maintaining it.
Multiple muscle groups should be exercised to help engage as much of your body as possible. This is important not only for a well-rounded body, but also because this is how your body naturally wants to work – it can feel mechanical and strange to do highly-specific exercises.
Regardless of if you want to save time or not, as long as you are exercising and feeling good, then your workout is doing its job.
About Nicholas Fainlight
Swimming was not always his favorite sport. In fact, he started off with baseball. When he was young, he would always stay in the batting cages working to tweak his technique.He believes that baseball is a great way to focus yourself. Playing baseball and working on tuning his technique was extremely important to Fainlight. It allowed him to control his mind and keep it in tune with his body.
It was this precision and fine-tuning that allowed Nicholas Fainlight to fall in love with swimming as well. He got involved with swimming when he was a freshman in high school. He had been playing football, but had grown tired of it and wanted to change things up. His advisor suggested that he try out water polo since he had good arms from playing baseball. Fainlight took up the sport and it immediately clicked. Once the water polo season ended, he noticed that most of the water polo team stayed in the water by participating in the swim team during swim season. He figured he’d join in and do swimming as well. He did not yet know how important swimming would be to him.
The swim team was a close-knit group of guys that were like a family. They all worked hard and supported each other, pushing each other to succeed. Fainlight realized what a beautiful sport swimming is and it got him through high school.
Nicholas Fainlight loves everything about swimming. He loves how smooth and fluid it is. Just like baseball, swimming allows you to keep your body and mind in sync with one another. Swimming is a personal sport but a team sport at the same time. Fainlight loves being in the water and thinking about how to be as streamlined as possible. The smallest technical things can make or break a swimmer, and he is fascinated by this. Swimming is a sport that pushes you to work harder to be faster than the person next to you. Fainlight likes to use this drive to get better throughout all aspects of his life.
Sports are very important to one’s development, as Nicholas Fainlight learned in a class about associating, leading, and serving. In this class, he learned that athletics allows a kid to learn at an early age whether he or she is a leading personality or an aiding personality. Sports allow kids to build camaraderie at a young age and also build respect for adults. When a young person joins a sports team, he or she is given people to look up to and a team to go to for support. Athletic kids can also learn that there is not one way to do things right.
Nicholas Fainlight believes that the most important thing to get out of athletics is confidence. As a young child, he was quiet and shy, but he was able to relax once he got into baseball. From then on, he enjoyed sports as a way to stay active and to be around people. He remains passionate about swimming and also golf as a hobby.