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For most, the last few months have challenged normal routines. Everything from work to children’s schooling, social activities and even how we cheer on our favorite sports teams have changed to some degree. This has also included a halt to many of the activities that help us stay active, healthy and fit.
Some gyms closed only to reopen with restrictions and safety guidance. Many recreational sports have paused, and most competitive races are cancelled through the end of the year. It’s no wonder why many athletes are feeling behind on their training as they find their way back to fitness in this new — and more distanced — way of living.
But thankfully it can be done, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
If you’re ready to dust off your running shoes, here are a few things to consider as you reengage your body, mind and spirit to achieve your fitness goals — just like many of your favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning players as they prepare for their seasons.
Set Realistic Goals
Whether you pushed pause on your normal workout routine for a few days, weeks or months, it’s important to start by setting realistic goals based on your current health, fitness level, schedule and other commitments. Set goals that allow you to make slow, steady progress. This will help you stay motivated, safe and successful.
And if your fitness goals include weight-loss goals as well, we have additional tips for you to lose weight the healthy way.
Take it Slow
Don’t expect to be at your pre-break fitness and strength levels when you jump back into your exercise routine. Take time to warm up appropriately and ease into your training schedule.
Take caution not to push your body too hard in the first few weeks. Gradually increase your intensity, time or distance to help prevent injuries and maintain steady progress.
What once felt like normal activities, such as going to a group fitness class or crowded gym, now feel like distant pastimes. So, you may have to get creative about how you train or exercise to stay safe and compliant with your local social distancing guidelines and requirements.
Consider at-home workout options, virtual personal training sessions, gym equipment you can easily store in your home and safe outdoor activities you can do while keeping your space from others. Also, ensure you have a cloth face covering or mask handy if your local area requires them while exercising outside of your home or at a public facility.
And since many children are spending much more time at home these days, consider incorporating your training into a family event. Go for a family bike ride, design an obstacle course or field day in your backyard, do a virtual yoga class, develop a family Olympics with timed sprints and swims or choreograph a family dance — make getting fit fun and challenging for everyone in your household.
Take a Whole-Health Approach
Getting active or training seriously again isn’t just about boosting your physical health — there’s a big emotional and spiritual component, too. Many are feeling mixed emotions with big changes to our daily lives and questions about the health and safety of everything from our family members to our favorite activities.
But exercise is a healthy way to fuel your spirit while regaining a positive aspect of control in your life. This can help manage feelings of stress and anxiety while providing a healthy outlet. Stay motivated knowing every training session you complete is promoting your whole health and resilience.
Get a Health Check
In recent months, many people have understandably delayed routine visits to their doctors, including physicals, screenings, lab work and other important health checks. If you’re behind on your health maintenance appointments, consider checking in with your primary care provider or specialist (if you are under the care of one for a current health condition).
This is especially important before starting a new fitness routine, or resuming one after a long break. Your doctor can ensure your fitness goals are safe based on your health and wellness. Many doctors are even offering video visits to make care safe and convenient for you.