Getting back on the exercise train - by Kevin Daly

Over the past 12 months the way in which we participate and look at exercise may well have changed. Gyms and leisure facilities have been opening and closing to fall in line with the government’s social distancing and lockdown restrictions, meaning your favourite way of exercising may have stopped or even evolved into something new.

Many of us have hoped and dreamt about being able to participate in our favourite ways to exercise once again and getting back into the routine will be something to look forward to.

I like to think of exercise like a train journey. You have a destination where you wish to go, this destination represents your long term goals. But along the way you’ll visit other places, these places represent short term goals and adaptions to your exercise regime. You may also experience bumps in the tracks represented by injury or illness.

This year’s journey may have had all of these and may well have been more of a roller coaster ride than a train journey. I’ll let you decide this…

As we seemingly see the light at the end of the tunnel in this part of the journey, we will see our gyms, leisure facilities and favourite places to visit reopen. In my opinion, getting back into an exercise routine could be a challenge in itself, especially if your exercise has stopped completely or evolved into a new way of keeping active.

Here are a few tips to consider when jumping back onto the train (so to speak!).

Fitness exercise mat


Having a good and healthy relationship with exercise is important to enjoying it. A big factor to this is getting the correct routine for you and the life you lead. Within this routine there should be recovery and rest days to help your body relax, feel fresh and energized, while not putting excess pressure on your mind. The exercise itself should be varied from the gym, swimming pool and exercising outside (this could include activities such as gardening). Exercising with other people or in a group can also give great routine while also adding a social element.

Diving into a swimming pool


Viewing exercise and how it makes you feel should help you base what the form of exercise should be. If you love swimming then swim, if you love the gym then use the gym and if you love walking… then you’ve guessed it, go for a walk. There are of course moments when a specific form of exercise isn’t your favourite but is necessary. These are opportunities to focus on the ‘why’ and get help with the ‘how’. For example, someone may have a medical condition and the amazing personal trainers at the Audley Club can help with the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.

Hiking to the top of a mountain


The reason and motivation to exercise. This is what pushes us to exercise and what drives us to achieve what we set out in our minds. Thinking about the emotional response to what it would feel like to reach a goal plays a big part in looking at how we set our goals. Try breaking the goal up into small achievable footsteps. Think of this again like the train ride and how each station you visit is a bite-sized part of the bigger journey or motivation to exercise and the destination being the main aim. Bumps may happen along the ride but that’s ok because plans can change and take a small detour. Once you have achieved something, reward yourself.

A man running in the park

Easy does it

It doesn’t have to be full steam ahead once you can exercise again. A period of time will unfortunately reveal that we have gone back a few steps in physical capability. Starting afresh can form all of the above to help ease you back into exercise. Getting the routine, being open minded on the outlook and also setting those achievable goals will begin to form the exercise journey you love to take. The time away may even make us enjoy and appreciate exercise more. Assistance to help you with your journey will be on hand from our wonderful Leisure Club teams and we’ll also be able to advise on the best route back.

Exercising at home


Throughout lockdown, we’ve been delivering live online classes to Audley Club members, so we can keep in touch and offer some form of exercise that they can do at home. These classes are very easy to access via our Audley Club app and run from Monday mornings to Friday afternoons. The timetable offers a great range of exercises and at different levels. Online fitness classes may be the way to kickstart your exercise regime and raise your motivation levels ready for when gyms do reopen.

I hope that you have found these simple tips useful and I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your own fitness regime and goals.

More about Kevin

Kevin has worked within the leisure industry for the past 24 years and as Leisure Club Manager at St George’s Place for the past 6 Months.

Kevin specialises in helping those to exercise who have health conditions and may have a physical problem that needs gym based exercise. He is a qualified Exercise Referral Instructor who specialises in Falls Prevention and enjoys helping clients to reduce weight and get fit through HiiT training principles.

Outside of work Kevin enjoys cooking, his own training, family time and mountain walking. In October 2021 he is planning a trip to walk up Ben Nevis in Scotland.

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