These strange times have thrown us all for a loop. But, with society beginning to reopen again, the call of the gym can be heard over the endless pessimism of the daily news cycle.
For many of us, the prospect of getting back training stirs mixed emotions of equal parts excitement and anxiety. Momentum is all about getting that ball rolling. Let gravity do the rest.
Get the mind right, and the body will follow. Mercifully, for most of us, our primary battle isn’t with the coronavirus but rather the mental toll of the lockdowns and other restrictions. Here are some tried-and-tested methods of getting your head into a suitable space to get restarted.
- Breathe Right to Feel Right
When we’re anxious, we tend to hyperventilate – often without being aware of it. Hyperventilation can trigger the sympathetic nervous system causing the stress response. This makes us anxious, which increases our hyperventilation which in turn increases our anxiety. And the vicious cycle continues.
To reset your nervous system, try this simple breathing method. It’s backed by the weight of scientific research.
- Breathe in through the nose for a count of 4.
- Breathe out through the nose for a count of 6.
- Repeat for 10 minutes or more.
- Do this 3 times per day.
- Check Your Thoughts
Your mind is where you live. If it is a toxic environment, you’re in trouble. One way to whip your thought patterns into shape is to fact-check your thinking. Don’t let negative thoughts about yourself and the world around you spiral out of control. Layout your thoughts in front of your objective self and analyse them rationally.
Getting through the Gym Door
The first session back will be the hardest. But you’ll remember what it’s like. Halfway through the session, you’ll be wondering why you had to fight with yourself to get here. There’s no reward like the reward you get for putting in the work. But, first, you need to get your butt through the door.
- Set Reasonable Expectations
Jumping into two-a-days may not be sustainable for you – at least not yet! Starting from a cold start, you’ll want to set yourself up for success by aiming for an attainable number of sessions your first week back.
- Build on Your Accomplishments
Once you gain a little momentum, set yourself a challenge. Can you add an extra class per week? Define your goals. Is it three classes per week? Five? Twice a day? Your exact target will depend on your circumstances, but you need to set it regardless. Remember, you can’t hit what you can’t see.
- Harness the Power of a Partnership
“Two shorten the road,” goes an old Irish saying – and for a good reason. Having a training buddy who can hold you accountable is a powerful tool to help you reach your goals. If you’re lucky enough to have such a relationship with someone, leverage it for the benefit of both of you.
Once you’ve shown up, the hard work is done. Just be sure to warm up thoroughly and drink plenty of water. Respect your body’s need to recover and you’ll be back in the swing of things in no time!