Fitness: Up Close and Personal

If you’ve been taking things easy over lockdown, the thought of getting back to regular exercise might be daunting. With gyms reopening this month, we asked Haydn Elliott, head trainer and co-owner of F45 Oxford Circus and F45 Soho for his advice on re-finding your feet with fitness. Here are his top tips:

Up your movement – It is important to start getting up and about again and be a bit more active. People have been a lot more sedentary for longer periods of time than they would have usually. Yes, a short 20-25 minute workout is good, but I think right now it’s more about getting the body moving more frequently than adding in long sessions of intense training. Choose walking, mobility, stretching or anything else that will help your body ease away from the fairly restricted movement patterns we have been accustomed to for months.

Ease yourself into your workout – It is important to remember that we’ve spent the past 3-4 months in lockdown, so we would advise initially holding off from giving your workouts the full 100 per cent, particularly in the first week, as your body is going to really feel it.

Focus on recovery – Be conscious of your recovery during this initial period. It’s something that is always extremely important, but when coming back to more intense training structure you must focus on getting good quality sleep, at least 7-9 hours a night. As mentioned, your body is going to really feel the effects of this increased intensity, so you need to give yourself time to recover. As well as sleep, you must ensure that you are properly hydrating, with several litres of water throughout the day, and nourishing your body with an adequate protein intake.

I would give exactly the same advice to people who have never worked out before. Right now, people have been fairly inactive for the past 3-4 months, so it is like everyone is starting their own journey again. Now is the time to leave your pride at the door and try to enjoy the process rather than getting too focused on aesthetics.

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