Many people around the world have suffered from the Covid-19 virus, and it has had an effect on their fitness goals. Symptoms such as fatigue, weakness and headaches have stopped people from training effectively, if at all.
However, as time wears off, people come through Covid and slowly return the strength that helped them progress to their body shape goals. Yet this is not always easy, and it can be confusing to know how to approach your return from a spell on the sidelines.
So, what are the key points to remember? How can you ensure a safe, effective and enjoyable return to training for fat loss and body composition?
Understand Where You Are At
One of the most important things to do when returning is to understand your body, how you are feeling, and what you are able to do. Many people suffer from fatigue, even after testing negative for Covid, so there is no point in returning to your usual schedule and intensity if your body is not able to handle it. Not only is this unrealistic, but it could also be potentially damaging to your health and set you back even further.
So, if you can only do two moderate-intensity sessions per week until you regain your energy and strength, that is okay. It is not a race. At the same time, if you feel better and are able to return to a good routine, you can do that also. Give yourself a personal audit and set a realistic plan for what you can achieve in the short term.
Build Back Up Slowly In The Gym
Many people will be extremely excited to get back to the gym and start to lift heavier, as well as work with a wider variety of equipment. However, it is important that you don’t let this excitement take over. If you have either not been training consistently or you have been working lighter weights during Covid, it will take a while for your body to adapt to your old training routine in the gym.
This applies especially to your strength levels. So, make sure that you have your technique perfected first before you start to add weight. This is vital not only for getting the most from your workouts, but also so that you protect yourself from injury. Do not try to lift too heavy, too early, as you will run the risk of doing damage to your body due to it not being used to heavier loads. The best method would be to start at a lower weight, get used to performing the movement again, and then gradually increasing the weight week-on-week, to what you were lifting before.
Be Realistic With Nutrition
Nutrition is a particular area people are unsure about when it comes to returning to a usual routine, and it all depends on the symptoms you were developing when you had the illness. If hunger and taste were an issue, which they are for many, you may want to start with fewer daily calories than you were consuming beforehand, yet if they were not an issue and you were still eating well, you can continue to do so once the virus and its symptoms start to leave your body.
With energy being a common issue both during and after Covid, aim to consume a good portion of slow and fast releasing carbohydrates throughout the day so that you can fuel your workouts and boost your performance, as well as improve your productivity with other tasks. Protein will also be essential for maintaining the muscle you have and building back what you have lost. You should know what foods work best for you, so it’s important to keep things simple and return to being in a good routine.
Ask For Advice
If you are looking to get back on track, you may find it hard to go at it alone. Firstly, it can be hard to consistently motivate yourself to keep going and stay disciplined in the most important areas. Therefore, having a coach, mentor and someone you know to regularly support you is going to be key, especially during the times when you are down and not inspired to train or stick to your diet is going to be vital for getting through tough times and staying consistent.
Having someone by your side is also important when it comes to doing the right things well. This can range from exercise execution and tempo to adjusting your calories every few weeks. Without the knowledge required, it is risky to make changes yourself and you may not even know if you are performing the required tasks to maximum effect. So, a coach or mentor who will make the right decisions when required and make sur that you are getting the best reward for your efforts is vital.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
The final thing to remember comes from a psychological standpoint. After being in a routine full of progress, it can dent your confidence to be on the sidelines for a sustained period with illness. As a result, it can be easy to want to rush back to where you were, but with your body not quite used to those demands, it is advisable to build back up slowly. This can be easier said than done, however, due to the pressure you put on yourself.
So, returning to your usual routine for losing body fat can be a real challenge, but there are some fundamental strategies that you need to put in place to ensure that your return is safe, enjoyable and effective. These include understanding where you are at, slowly building your training back up, being realistic with nutrition, asking for advice, and not putting too much pressure on yourself.
Your journey is a long process, so there is no rush. Do what you can with these tips and see how your body responds – it can be the difference between your recovery being smooth or troublesome.
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