As COVID restrictions are lifting, many of us are turning our thoughts to getting fit once more. But after months at home, the prospect of joining a gym, class or even doing some exercise on our own can feel daunting and off-putting.
Post Lockdown Gym Anxiety
We’ve not had to interact with large groups of people for over a year. So, it’s no surprise that social anxiety is at an all-time high right now. Naturally, we’re all still feeling concerned about COVID-19 too. But with the vaccine roll out well underway, and restrictions lifting, the gyms are ready for us! The fact that we may feel out of shape or less physically fit than previously means that it can seem like a big mountain to climb - but you can do it!
It’s perfectly okay and completely normal to feel a bit scared of returning to the gym or whatever form of exercise is your preference. Be comforted by the fact that you’re not the only one. Millions of people are feeling exactly the same way too. In fact, at this time, mental wellness, above everything else, is paramount. We should all be giving ourselves and others a bit of self-love and understanding. Don’t pile loads of pressure on yourself. Accept that it’s unlikely you’ll hit peak performance from the get-go because improving physical fitness takes time after all.
Breaking things down into small steps is a great way to begin. Think of doing a ten-minute run rather than ten miles. A daily walk with a friend. An exercise class on your TV subscription service if you’d prefer not to leave the house. These are all small ways you can dip your toe into the world of exercise. And with each small accomplishment, you can feel proud, and this will serve to build up your motivation and confidence.
Yoga for Everyone
Stepping into a gym with perfectly honed gym bunnies or muscle-bound alpha males may not be your idea of a good time. It’s not mine either, frankly. That’s why at Yogi Bare, we’re very keen to promote that yoga is a fantastic form of exercise accessible to everyone, no matter your size, shape, or physical ability.
Yoga attends to your body, breathing and mind, all at the same time, so it can prove useful for just about anyone. You can do yoga with your seven-year-old son or your ninety-year-old mum, after time in lockdown, it’s time to reconnect, bring your family and loved ones into your yoga sessions, you may just find a shared hobby.
The great thing is that you can go at your own pace and there’s always the opportunity to opt in or out of stretches and poses. If you don’t want to try something, do a more or less advanced variation or a completely different pose altogether. The point is that you’re moving around and doing static and dynamic stretching, which is highly beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga encompasses so much. There are many different styles, and they vary from being mindful, relaxing, spiritual, and focused to being a much more physically demanding, complete cardiovascular workout. You can always find a style to suit your preference and to meet your individual needs.
Yoga can also help relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and blood flow, energise you and help to improve mental health. The health and well-being benefits seem endless. It makes you wonder why it’s not on the national curriculum in schools or used more in the workplace. Whatever you need to get out of it, you can.
Another fantastic benefit is that you can do it at home, within a class or make use of the great outdoors. There are no limitations. All you need is yourself and a non-slip mat and job’s a good'un. For something a bit different, we recommend the Wild Paws non-slip yoga mat. We love it because a tree is planted for each mat sold so you can get fit, whilst doing your bit for the planet. What’s not to love!!!
It’s also a great idea to have your own mat for hygiene purposes. Sharing mats allows germs to be passed on, especially Plantar Warts, Athlete’s Foot, Cold and Flu as well as COVID-19. If you’re planning on returning to the studio or any group exercise class for that matter, stay safe and prevent the spread by bringing your own mat.