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Getting Back to the Gym after an Extended Absence

The last couple of years has been a challenge for everyone. One of the biggest challenges so many people have been working to overcome is getting back into the gym after an extended absence. Even the most hardcore fitness enthusiasts and athletes have been having a hard time getting back into the routine of going to the gym on a regular basis, getting back into shape, and shedding those pounds that came so easily during the pandemic.

For some people, just getting back into the routine of getting to the gym has been a challenge. It is so easy to get out of a routine and so hard to get back into it. For others, COVID itself was the cause of the struggle. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and people who contracted the virus have reported shortness of breath or difficulty breathing for weeks and even months after recovering from the illness. Long COVID is thought to be a problem for about 30% of the people who had COVID, making recovery that much harder and making getting to the gym far more difficult.

The important thing about getting back to the gym after a long absence is to remember that you are not as strong as you were before you stopped hitting the gym regularly. So many people make the mistake of picking up where they left off only to injure themselves soon after getting back to the gym. These injuries could be serious enough to cause you to stop going to the gym again, therefore causing you to lose more ground. If getting back to the gym after not going to is hard, getting back after an injury can be even more difficult.

What can you do to ensure your health and safety after getting back to the gym after an extended absence?

1 – Reset your expectations

Face it. The first time back or even the first several times back is going to be extremely frustrating. You are not going to be able to lift as much, run as far, or endure a sustained level of activity. A regular workout is going to feel like it is taking forever, and you may feel weak or that you have lost a significant amount of gains. Realize this is only temporary and our bodies have muscle memory. Take it easy and listen to your body and you’ll be back before you know it.

2 – Don’t push too hard

We have all been at the gym and felt like we needed to push ourselves. We’ve had friends, trainers, and our inner voice push for one more rep or one more set, or 30 more seconds. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pushing yourself and testing your endurance. However, when you hit the gym after a long absence, your body can’t perform as it had in the past. This is a temporary condition, and you will get back to the point where you will be able to test your limits and push your boundaries. You won’t get there if you push it on your first trip back to the gym. Give yourself a break and give yourself the time you need to get back to the point where you can push it without the risk of causing a serious injury.

3 – Set attainable goals

It is always a good idea to be very specific with your goals and keep track of where you were, where you are, and where you want to be. After a lengthy break from the gym, especially if you are recovering from an illness such as COVID, give yourself realistic and attainable goals. If you haven’t jogged a half-mile in the last few months, then the chances are you are not going to be able to run a marathon the first time you strap on your running shoes. If you think you can, you will just add to the already-building frustration. Set an attainable goal. Even if that goal seems amateurish, an attained goal will give you the morale boost you need to start to get back to your top form. Failed goals, on the other hand, can mess with your head and make it harder to want to come back the next day.

4 – Work out with a trainer

We tend to be our own worst judges of what we can and cannot do. If you work out with a trainer or an experienced athlete, even if you are one yourself, they are going to see what you are immediately capable of doing right away in real-time. They can help you to adjust your workout or ensure you won't get hurt in real-time. Our brains are going to want to push us to get back to top form as soon as possible. Having an objective set of eyes is probably the best thing you can do to get back in shape most efficiently.

5 – Visit Performance Acupuncture

If you want to get back into your best form free from pain and injury, come to Performance Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a proven way to improve your performance.

  • Acupuncture helps you to recover from an injury faster. When you work out, you are going to get muscle aches, strains, and soreness. Tendonitis is also very common. Acupuncture can decrease inflammation in your body and speed up the healing process.

  • Acupuncture can decrease the need for a rest day. Since acupuncture decreases inflammation and soreness, you will not need to take as many rest days. Since acupuncture helps speed up the healing process, you will be ready to go faster than without acupuncture.

  • Acupuncture can improve mobility and decrease pain. Acupuncture can help decrease muscle tension and even help to strengthen weak muscles. It can also help to alleviate the pain associated with muscle strains and soreness. Some people report an immediate decrease in pain or even complete elimination of pain. Some pain relief occurs 20 to 30 minutes later. Regardless, acupuncture is a natural and effective way to fight pain without having to rely on pain meds that have some nasty and significant side effects.

  • Acupuncture can help you to avoid an injury. Since acupuncture alleviates tight muscles and helps strengthen weak muscles, the chances of developing an injury are significantly decreased. Remember that stretching is a vital part of avoiding an injury, and it is also important to listen to your body and don’t overdo it, especially if you are receiving signs from your body to take it easy.

Getting back to the gym is the first step in getting back to your top form. It is important to let yourself rebuild your strength and don’t take on more than you can handle. As you get back into shape, remember that we are here to help you with proven acupuncture protocols that can help shorten recovery times, help avoid injury, and give you the tools you need to push yourself to new levels.

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