Strategies to Maintain Fitness During Social Distancing

calendar May 15, 2020
close up of weights in an gym with one woman exercising in the background

Today is the day! As of today, gyms are able to reopen for business in the state of Arizona.

Does this mean all of us are going to flock back to the gyms in mass gatherings and jump on the treadmill, squats in the squat racks, or go to an exercise class? The answer is likely NO!

Honestly, I think it will take some time for us all to be comfortable to get back into a larger gym setting. But we will get there! During this time of transition, whether we are continuing to exercise from home or venturing back to the gym, it is important to remember the main principles of health and fitness that I will break down in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Just keep moving!
The standard guidelines for exercise include 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. A pretty typical way to reach this is to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week. This can include walking, jogging, swimming, biking, hiking, or anything else that increases your heart rate!

Step 2: Strength training
If you are returning to the gym, load up those plates and get back to work! But seriously though, if you are returning to the gym, please ease back into it. Lower your weights, reps, or both in order to avoid injury. If you are continuing to exercise at home, continue to utilize milk jugs, books, boxes, or your own body weight for your home workouts.

Step 3: Stretching program
An important but often neglected part of exercise. Myself included! But it is important to take the time to stretch your muscles to maintain their flexibility and decrease the likelihood of injury.

Step 4: Drink water
This is pretty self-explanatory. Water helps to hydrate your body during physical activity and improves many body processes and functions.

Step 5: Sleep
Last but certainly not least, it is important to get good sleep. This is crucial for muscle recovery, cellular recovery and regeneration, and weight loss!

What is your workout or gym plan now that gyms are reopening?

Posted by Dr. Kyle Black, PT, DPT from our Empower PT - Chandler Ocotillo location.