Helping Your Members Get Back on Track After Time Off
COVID-related lockdowns came on suddenly and without warning. When they did, they came not just between gyms and their members, but also between members and their fitness goals. With restrictions lifting and many people headed back into the gym, your members may be wondering how to best pick up where they left off.
Personal trainers and other fitness business professionals are uniquely qualified to help members resume their fitness routines after being out of the gym for months. Read on for a roundup of useful tips to share with members upon reentry.
1. Take it slow and easy.
Many gym-goers went from daily exercise routines to nothing. While it can be frustrating to start slowly, doing so is essential to preventing burnout and minimizing injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) spokesperson Dr. Nicholas DiNubilie said in a news release, "Cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, and flexibility may have declined with [the] need to social distance…Regardless of your activity, it is important to remember to ease into it and be patient with yourself. If you give yourself time, the skills will come back."
2. Limit increases of intensity and duration to increments of no more than 10 percent.
People may not be able to lift as much or run for as long as they did prior to the coronavirus crisis. Saying "take it slow and easy" is one thing. But these instructions mean different things to different people. To that end, the AAOS put a concrete number on it: 10 percent.
Dr. DiNubilie continued, "If we suddenly increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of activity more than what our bodies had become accustomed to while social distancing, it can be a shock to the body's soft tissues and joints, causing inflammation and breakdown. "
3. Celebrate progress along the way.
In a perfect world, gym-goers would be able to pick up where they left off with no problem. But if the past few months have told us anything, it's that the world is far from perfect. Just like the world, people are imperfect, too. Sometimes, we get so caught up in everything that's going wrong; it's easy to lose track of what's going right.
Gym-goers can stay engaged and motivated by celebrating their accomplishments - no matter how small. Personal trainers can play an essential role in supporting this by helping clients set attainable goals and tracking their progress in reaching them.
4. Commit to staying hydrated before, during, and after exercising.
Hydration is always important during exercise, but it's especially important for people who may not be in the shape they once were. Dehydration can lead to many symptoms, including low energy, headaches, and dry mouth. It can also interfere with workout performance in different ways. Simply put: If you're not feeling your best, dehydration can interfere with the ability to power through a workout and to keep moving forward.
5. Set - and stick with - a routine.
It takes anywhere between 18 and 254 days to form a habit, according to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. If you want working out to become a natural part of your daily life, setting and sticking with a routine can help you reach the point where exercise feels like a natural part of your life.
6. Know and follow your facility's rules and regulations.
A return to the gym does not mean a return to normal. For members to have the best experiences, they should familiarize themselves with updated rules and safety protocols. Wearing a face mask whenever possible is also advised.
Furthermore, staying healthy can help your members continue on their health and fitness journals, so continuing to practice social distancing, bringing and using their own towels and water bottles, wiping down machinery and equipment after working out, and staying home if they experience any flu-like symptoms can help members do their part to keep your gym community safe.
Earlier, we talked about the importance of encouraging members to minimize the degree to which they increase the intensity of exercise after returning to the gym. Enter fitness monitoring technology. One of the most popular ongoing trends in the fitness industry, wearables can help your members understand key metrics in order to design more effective and sustainable workouts. Request a demo today to learn how the Accurofit System can help your members reach their fitness goals.