To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, we have put together some tips for fitness enthusiasts and professionals to help manage anxiety and boost mental health when returning to the gym and classes following prolonged lockdowns.
During the past year, physical activity has been a great way to keep active, head outside, and see one other person socially distanced. Lockdowns have also made trainers and clients incredibly resourceful and resilient, moving their business online to keep people training and hitting their fitness goals. (if you would like to know more about bringing a training business online, watch this space!)
However, a new study by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton has suggested that rising levels of stress and anxiety has made it harder for people to engage in physical activities that could have helped them improve their mental health.
With gyms re-opening, outdoor classes becoming more regular, and indoor classes set to open up again next week, here are a few tips to help you or your clients get back to physical activity and keep your mental health boosted.
For anyone who has been experiencing anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, getting back into exercise can be both an exciting and daunting prospect.
It’s important to listen to your body and not put too much pressure on yourself to hit the ground running if you haven’t been able to train at the levels you have been used to.
Here are 6 tips to help you beat post-lockdown gym anxiety:
If you are a fitness professional, you will already know how the pandemic has affected your business.
Whether you have brought your training online or are looking forward to welcoming groups of clients face-to-face, it is important to remember that some may be more anxious than others about returning to exercise or may have had their mental health affected by the pandemic.
The study done in Hamilton suggested that the main reasons clients were unable to maintain fitness levels and exercises during the pandemic were:
Personal training should be holistic, training the whole person, including mental health. You will need to be able to operate as a link to the community to fill in this lack of social support. Equally, understanding positive and meaningful conversations will be an essential skill to help motivate and support clients struggling with their mental health.
To give you the confidence to discuss mental health and signpost to the right groups and helplines for your clients, we recommend undertaking our Understanding Mental Wellbeing CPD course.
While there is no easy way to alleviate a client’s anxiety, there are a few things you can do to give them the reassurance that you are providing a safe and supportive environment to help them hit their fitness and wellness goals.
We all know that exercise is a great way to boost physical and mental health. However, with increased lockdowns and restrictions to socialisation, it became harder to stick to fitness goals, having an adverse effect on mental health. Both fitness enthusiasts and professionals must understand that taking small steps and listening to your body, can help you get back to exercises safely and effectively, boosting mental health and reducing anxiety levels.