Why it’s Important you Return to the Gym Sooner Rather Later

All of Longevity’s Exercise Physiologists are enjoying being back in the gyms in our Edgecliff, Randwick, Marrickville, Lindfield and Drummoyne locations. However, from speaking with all of our clients, we understand some of you may still have hesitations about returning to training in the gym. That’s why today’s blog is all about helping you determine your readiness and weigh up the risks versus the rewards.

Weighing things up…

Your decision about returning to the gym will likely involve weighing up the benefits of exercise versus the risks of infection to yourself or risk of infection to those around you who might be higher risk. Whilst there is a level of risk involved in going to the gym (similar to going out to your favourite restaurant) there are strict measures in place in every gym to mitigate these risks. For example, social distancing, hand washing and disinfecting all equipment before and after use.

In actual fact, the risk of staying at home and doing nothing is likely to have a greater impact on your health and wellbeing than returning to training in the gym. Here’s a few reasons why:

1. Muscle atrophy and deconditioning

That’s right, the old saying ‘use it or lose it’ still stands! Whilst you might have turned to more walking or home workouts during COVID-19, your muscles need a certain amount of stimulus to maintain and build muscle mass. Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of ageing and starts to occur as early as the age of 30! Lower muscle mass results in increased risk of falls, reduced ability to carry out daily tasks, loss of independence and increased risk of injury. Getting back into the gym and completing at least 2 strength training sessions per week, no matter your age, is highly important.

2. Functional capacity and Falls risk

As mentioned above, having less muscle mass is a big risk factor for falls. This is because the weaker and less resilient your muscles are, the harder is to balance and react to situations in life that put you off balance. Challenging yourself in the gym under the guidance of an Exercise Physiologist is one of the best ways to improve your functional capacity and balance. Not to mention the side product of increased independence and confidence in your day to day life. Who doesn’t want to be able to stand on one leg whilst brushing their teeth?

3. Support and Progress

Exercise Physiologists are here to help you stay on track with your goals. We also have the ability to look at your health objectively and subjectively to know when it is time to progress exercises and ensure you continue moving forward on your health journey.

4. Variety and Technique

The opportunity to challenge your muscles and progress is much greater when you are able to use a combination of resistance/aerobic machines, free weights, resistance bands and bodyweight. It’s also highly important you do exercises with correct technique so you avoid injury and can continue exercising for the long term. In the gym you will find both variety and Exercise Physiologists. We are the most appropriate health professional to see when it comes to exercise technique.

There are many more reasons why not delaying getting back into the gym is a good idea. We are here to help you. Give us a call on 1300 964 002 to find out more reasons why and have your questions answered.

Written by Courtney Maher

Courtney-Maher

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