The Covid-19 pandemic has caused havoc with our lives, including how we exercise. Many of us have found it difficult to stick to a workout routine, and it comes as no surprise as evidence proves the way we exercise has changed.
Exercising after Covid struck has impacted hugely on step-counting measurements taken via our smartphones, according to research. The effect of Covid on exercise has caused a slump in workouts the world over.
This drop in Covid workouts proved a significant change in activity levels, when studying near 5,400 people in the UK alone at the beginning of the pandemic.
However, when it came to exercising after Covid, the same study showed that only those over the age of 65 appeared to return to their workout routine.
So! How can you get back into working out after Covid? We tell you how.
When the pandemic first hit, many of us were itching to get outdoors after even an inkling of lockdown. But since exercise classes came to a halt and gyms quickly closed, those who were formerly pretty active quickly fell out of their exercise routine.
But it’s no surprise that we’ve found it difficult to maintain our workouts during the pandemic! The many lockdowns have affected mental health, as we have been forced to isolate ourselves from family and friends.
The many, many, lockdowns have affected us all, in one form or another. For many of us, our motivation to exercise after and during Covid has taken a hit. While exercising releases feel-good hormones and makes us feel good, struggling with depression, stress and anxiety have plummeted our enthusiasm for exercise.
Let’s be honest, very few of us are lucky enough to have a home gym! So with fewer opportunities for working out after Covid struck, our couches have seen more action than the great outdoors.
Whether you’re feeling anxious or not, it’s totally natural to find it tough to get back into exercising after Covid. Since the pandemic has played havoc with our schedules, finding the time or a place to exercise has been tough! Often, when we have extra time, we find ourselves falling into a ‘maybe later…’ mindset.
Gym closures, class cancellations and everything in between have made exercising after Covid difficult… But it doesn’t have to be.
Can you workout with Covid around?
Although the pandemic has caused gyms, classes and other forms of group exercise to be cancelled, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself fit.
Also Read: Post-workout: What to Eat After a Workout
You can either head outdoors to somewhere spacious, for your own outdoor workout, or bring the workout in. Grab yourself some affordable resistance bands to exercise with at home, or simply use your own bodyweight!
Here are our Covid workout tips to get you back on track and hitting your fitness goals.
Working out after Covid: Setting goals
If you’re struggling to exercise after Covid, you’re not alone. One way to get your fitness goals back on track is to start small.
Working out after Covid doesn’t have to feel like climbing a mountain. Instead, try setting small, realistic goals that you can measure. Write them down, or keep track of them in your phone and feel the satisfaction of ticking them off when complete.
For example, if you’re looking to build upper body strength, set a goal of improving your push up ability. Start small and complete a number that’s manageable for you, setting a schedule for the week to complete them.
Gradually, look to increase this number and track how your fitness levels have improved. It may take a little while to return to your fitness levels pre-Covid, but don’t worry! Setting goals and a timeline for working out after Covid struck is key to staying on track.
Use the above principle for other forms of exercise, such as increasing the time running, skipping or even swimming. For many of us, exercising after Covid struck has felt harder than usual due to the amount of time we have available.
To avoid putting off your workout for another day, try blocking the time out in your schedule to ensure you keep to your fitness goals. When you can see the time blocked out, you’re more likely to stick to it. Consider it an appointment with exercise!
Everyone has a different workout schedule, so finding the time that works for you is your best route to success. If you prefer to exercise first thing, be sure to get plenty of rest beforehand.
Sleep is crucial for our bodies to repair and grow, so don’t jump out of bed and expect to maximise your workout when your body is running low on fuel!
Exercising after Covid: Accountability
When you only have yourself to answer to, it can be easy to avoid a workout. When you have a fitness partner exercising with you, it’s much harder to switch exercise out for a night on the couch.
However, accountability doesn’t necessarily mean having someone there by your side! It can also be a friend or relative who also wants to get back exercising after Covid and needs some motivation too. Texting or calling one another can be a huge amount of help and keep things fun.
Or, of course, turn to technology! There are plenty of apps available that can help you to share your post-Covid workout, adding accountability to your exercise schedule – plus a little friendly competitiveness.
Keeping track of your goals and progress is so important for achieving your fitness goals – With many exercisers opting for wearable devices (such as Fitbits) and mobile apps to compete with friends and track their progress.
Working out after Covid: Going slow
Throwing yourself in at the deep end of exercising is a quick way to burn yourself out, cause injury and fall out of love with your fitness goals.
Sure, plenty of us drifted from our exercise routines during Covid, and that’s okay! But now it’s time to get back on track. No matter how fit you are, or ever were, a break from exercise can set us back a few steps.
To avoid injury and burn out, work up gradually to the same intensity you were exercising at before Covid. While it’s easy to feel impatient with our bodies when we feel unable to workout the way we did, our routines have been hugely disrupted.
Start off slow when it comes to exercising after Covid, and ease your way back to the same intensity you may have had previously. If you’ve been inactive for longer than a month, resume your exercise at around 20-25% of the level you were at previously.
Then slowly work to increase this and get back to where your body feels comfortable!
Covid workouts: Mix things up
While getting into a workout schedule is a great way to hold yourself accountable, it doesn’t always have to be a straight hour of exercise.
Since so many of us spend at least 7 hours a day sitting down, taking breaks throughout the day is a great way to keep your body moving.
A quick 5 or 10 minute workout of bodyweight exercise can add up for cumulative health benefits. If you don’t have time for a lengthy run, simply squeeze in short bursts of strength training here and there! Instead of reaching for the candy, opt for fitness snacking.
Covid workouts: Safely sociable
For many of us, the pandemic has impacted us socially. Being unable to meet up with friends and family has made a huge impact on our social lives.
Plus, for many, the gym is an opportunity for socialising and working out with friends. If you’re worried about exercising after Covid, that’s a totally normal feeling, but there are ways to workout safely with others.
Many gyms and exercise classes have gone virtual, allowing us to welcome some normality once again! Although it may depend on your area, some gyms are resuming workout classes with measures in place – but only attend if you feel comfortable doing so.
If you’re looking for some help hitting your goals, speak to local personal trainers who operate outdoor sessions, whether 1-1 or in a group capacity. Since restrictions are starting to ease, working out after Covid is gradually getting back to normal – since we can now head outdoors for a walk or a run with a friend or family member.
Covid workouts outdoors
As we’ve just touched upon, getting outdoors is one of the safest ways to workout after Covid restrictions begin to lift.
Whether you’re exercising alone or with a friend, getting hot and sweaty outdoors does wonders for our stress levels. So if you’re feeling the effects of many lockdowns and tired of working from home, get yourself out in the fresh air for a little exercise!
Where the weather allows, gyms and personal trainers will gradually move group classes outdoors, too.
Get your mindset right for exercising
The pandemic has made many of us feel as though we’ve hit a wall with our exercise goals. But the important part of kickstarting your fitness again is your mindset!
While it’s common to fall out of love with exercise, one of the greatest ways to get that enjoyment back is to make exercise fun again.
Try switching up your current (or previous!) routine and try something new that gets you out of the house and socialising with a friend. When you get your mindset on the right track for success, your body will begin to follow you in hitting those fitness goals!
Need a way to jumpstart your post-Covid workouts?
Let’s be honest, we’ve all lost a bit of motivation since the pandemic started. And our fitness is no exception!
If you feel as though you need a boost of energy ahead of your workouts, why not try BlackWolf? Our vegan-friendly and proven ingredients boost your energy, focus and endurance, so you can maximise your workouts.
Expect full flavor and zero crash, so you can focus on your goals.