Gyms are open again – how do I get back on the exercise wagon if I’ve been sitting on my butt for 4 months?

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If the most exercise you’ve been doing over the past four months is waddling from your desk to the fridge and back again – same. If your neck and shoulders are super tight from staring contests with your screen – same. 

Lockdown hit us hard and in such an unstable time, no one’s judging if you forewent bi-weekly pilates in favour of bi-weekly pizza. 

It’s safe to say the last few months have been a turbulent time for Aucklanders, many of whom whole-heartedly surrendered to the stay-at-home order and embraced a life of sweatpants, sitting and pints of Häagen-Dazs’ Strawberry and Cream (just me?)

Gyms were closed, studios were shut. I no longer had to justify why I was too tired or too stressed or too busy to drive 10 minutes up the road for a 30-minute workout. With my gym membership suspended and the supermarket my only outlet, I accepted the slob life, dumping any hopes of achieving a Tammy Hembrow booty by the end of the year. 

But no longer.

The ‘traffic light’ system is now in full swing. Gyms have opened their doors. People are baring all in bikinis and Bondi Sands. Fitness is no longer forsaken; a concept relegated to a distant future where I might go to the gym more than once every three months. 

So for everyone who needs a bit of help easing back on that exercise wagon, Newshub spoke to Lululemon ambassador and founder of Ponsonby-based SALA Studio, Sarah Lindsey, for her top tips on getting back into the swing of things. We’re waxed, vaxxed and ready for six packs!

If we’ve absolutely fallen off the exercise wagon during lockdown, what is some advice you have for getting back into it?

Find things that support your new exercise goals, be it your friends or the right activewear to get you motivated. I always find something new [to wear] when I’m getting back into things as a new outfit makes me feel supported in my workout and instantly motivated to get moving.

I also have an accountability WhatsApp group where my friends and I post pictures of the workout we just did, making it feel like we’re holding one another accountable. It is also a reminder that working out can be a fun and social activity.  

Help, I feel like I’ve lost all my strength or flexibility! Can this happen in a matter of weeks, and if so, what’s the best way to combat it?

While it can be easy to become disheartened, it’s medically proven that it’s quicker to regain muscle and endurance, even after as long as three months off. It’s vital to be patient with yourself and trust that your perseverance will see you regain any lost strength or flexibility! You got this!

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