3 things to consider as you return to your gym after COVID-19

3 things to consider as you return to your gym after COVID-19

As the country slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments are slowly opening up businesses again.

Gyms were severely affected during the partial lockdown and quarantine period and if you are a regular at the gym, you probably felt the void.

Across the country, gyms are opening up again.

What does that mean for you and your fitness?

In this post, we’ll go over 5 considerations you should make as you return to your gym.

3 things to consider as you return to your gym after COVID-19

Safety first

Although the number of new cases and deaths have reduced, SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 is still around.

With all their best efforts, researchers still have not come up with a vaccine for COVID-19. This means there is no way to prevent the disease caused by the virus. And when you get the disease associated with it, there is currently no cure. Doctors and nurses simply provide supportive care until the virus “passes”.

SARS-Cov-2 is highly contagious.

Thus it is more important than ever that you continue to be safe as you return to the gym.

Here are tips on how to do that.

    • Wipe down equipment thoroughly with disinfectant wipes before you use anything.
    • Clean your hands with sanitizer once you are done working out. Gyms may provide both disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers but we recommend carrying your own as a back-up.
    • Wearing a mask or face covering has been a CDC recommendation since April 2020. However, working out with a mask on is not advisable as this reduces how much oxygen you are breathing in as you exercise.
    • As soon as you arrive home from the gym, take a shower.
    • Launder your gym clothes as much as possible throughout the week. You may have been able to get away with washing your gym clothes once a week in the past (wink!). In the current environment however, it is best to wash them throughout the week to prevent the spread.
    • Keep your gym “stuff” in a dedicated area and away from family.
    • Continue to use social distancing rules while you are at the gym.

Ease your way back into your routine

Don’t let your enthusiasm of getting back to the gym get you injured!

You haven’t used certain equipment or muscle groups in over three months.

It’s important to ease your way back into your gym exercise routine so that you don’t injure yourself.

If you need to work with a personal trainer for those few initial first weeks when you return to the gym, please do so.

It’s okay to not return to the gym until you’re comfortable

If you’re not comfortable going back to the gym even after your favorite gym reopens, that is alright.

The global pandemic has been traumatic for people around the world.

You may have even had loved ones who were affected by COVID-19. It is alright to take a step back and continue “non-gym” workout routines that are helping you meet your fitness goals.

You may find that some of your gyms offer virtual workout sessions.

This is an excellent alternative to going to a physical gym. Take advantage of these as well.

As the world opens up again and gyms open up, everyone has a choice to make. Our recommendation is to err on the side of safety.

12 Benefits of Strength Training

12 Benefits of Strength Training

Before we even delve into the benefits of strength training, let’s talk about what strength training is.

Not all exercises are created equal.

Cardio exercises are exercises that usually involve you moving your whole body like running, walking, swimming or riding a bicycle.

This burns calories and everyone needs it. In fact, researchers recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise per week.

Strength training on the other hand works on a muscle group in your body is just as important as cardio exercise. Every time you perform a sit up, lift weights or do lunges, you are strength training.

The American Heart Association recommends strength training at least twice per week. 

12 benefits of strength training:

Lower belly fat

Because strength training targets a muscle group, you can work on specific muscle groups. If you would like to lose belly fat, strength training that targets that area will help you get there.

Better heart health

Strength training also affects your heart health. Adding them into your exercise routine keeps your routines interesting and works on that all important muscle called the heart.

Controls and improves blood sugar levels

In a study of 62 adults with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that strength training improved muscle sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

Insulin is the hormone in humans that allows sugar molecules to enter into the cells of the body so the cells can use it for energy. In people with type 2 diabetes, this activity of insulin is blocked or greatly reduced. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have to take insulin injections.

Therefore, by improving a person’s sensitivity to insulin, it means the cells are able to uptake the sugar the way they are supposed to.

When this happens, blood sugar levels are improved and the effects of diabetes are reduced.

Improved mental health and brain health

Have you ever finished a workout and felt incredibly good about yourself?

It’s not a coincidence. When you exercise, your body releases a brain chemical called endorphins. These endorphins interact with your brain cells to give you an overall sense of well-being.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which analyzed 33 clinical trials that involved 1877 people showed that strength training was associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.

Reduced cancer risk/improved outcomes

In breast cancer survivors, researchers showed that strength training can reduce the risk of the disease coming back. The studies that found this out included more than 12,000 women.

Strength training can also help men with prostate cancer and prolong their lives as compared to those who don’t work out at all.

Pain management

While using exercise in pain management is still a newer area of research, there is some evidence that it can help to reduce pain.

Endorphin release is also known to interact with pain receptors in your brain to reduce pain.

Weight control

Need to control your weight? Strength training has long been shown to help with that as well.

Toned muscles

The generally compressive nature of strength training allows your muscles to produce more of the proteins that are involved in contracting your muscles.

This makes your muscles more taut and less flat or weak.

Stronger bones

Strength training also makes bones stronger and there is evidence that it can reduce the effects or delay the onset of osteoporosis.

The idea here is that the work you make your muscles do when you’re strength training impacts your bones. That work puts a certain amount of strain on your bone and elicits the production of more bone cells. More bone cells strengthen your bones.

Lower risk of injury

Because you are toning your muscles and strengthening your bones when you undergo strength training, you lower your risk of injury as you perform other types of exercises.

Improved joint flexibility

Strength training will improve your flexibility. With regular strength training, your joints become more flexible and can even reduce the risk of arthritis.

Longer lifespan

All of these benefits above contribute to a longer lifespan for individuals.

I highly recommend that you hire a personal trainer if you are new to strength training.

A personal trainer will guide you on the best kind of strength exercises that fit your needs.

Choosing a Personal Trainer

Choosing a Personal Trainer

In our last post, we talked about why getting a personal trainer is important.
A personal trainer can accelerate your fitness goals and help you maintain (even improve) your fitness levels. We highly recommend working with one.
But how do you go about choosing a personal trainer?
What should you look for when you’re choosing a trainer?
What questions should you ask? In today’s post, we will go over 7 crucial questions you should ask a potential personal trainer before you start working with them.

Seven questions to ask your personal trainer before you work with them


You are within your rights to ask if your personal trainer is certified. A personal trainer should hold a current certification from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. A personal trainer with these certifications has the knowledge and skills to help you engage in effective and safe work-out routines. So feel free to ask to see their certification. Here are a few websites where you can check on the credentials of your personal trainer.

The American Council on Exercise

National Strength and Conditioning Association

IDEA Health and Fitness Association

American College of Sports Medicine

Aerobic and Fitness Association of America

Your personal trainer should also have CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and First Aid certification.

Past clients.

While every trainer has to start from point zero, it is helpful if you can find out if your potential personal trainer has worked with other clients before. Are there testimonials the personal trainer can show you? Do they have phone numbers of people that you can call? All this is helpful in verifying the expertise of your trainer so you can get the results you want.

Professional references.

Apart from past clients, does your potential personal trainer have professional references? Some personal trainers may be independent contractors at a gym. If this is the case, then typically, it can be easy to speak to the gym about the personal trainer. If they don’t train from a gym or club environment, this is another question to ask as well.

Their area of specialization.

This is especially important if you have a specific health condition that requires special accommodations. This is important because not every personal trainer will have the experience to ensure you have an effective workout.

How much they charge.

You will be paying your personal trainer. It just makes sense that you would ask them about how much they charge to work with you. They may have set rates or they may work with your budget – which is why it is important to ask.
Schedule for working together.

Do your personal trainer have a schedule that fits your schedule?


A successful personal trainer doesn’t need to have a college degree. However, if they have a degree in an area like nutrition or exercise science, it can further enhance their expertise in designing a work out program that will work best for you.

Working a with a personal trainer can be one of the best investments of your life.  Asking these questions ensures that you get your money’s worth.

“Why do I need a personal trainer?” Here are 12 reasons why.

You’ve decided that this is the year you will get fit.

And, it should be easy enough right? 

Go on YouTube, search for workouts that will help you get fit and do them, correct?

While finding popular workout videos can be useful, getting a personal trainer can multiply your efforts 10 times over.

In today’s post, we will go over twelve reasons why getting a personal trainer is worth your time, your investment and most importantly, how it will propel you to reach your fitness goals.

12 reasons why you need a personal trainer

  1. Accountability and motivation. Having someone to workout with and keep you accountable will help you stick to your fitness goals. Research supports this. When you work out on your own, it’s easy to give yourself a break on the days when you don’t want to work out or on the days you don’t want to stick to a diet plan. (Hey, a cheat day here and there is fine but we can’t prolong those cheat days.) Having someone you are accountable to, will keep you on track.
  2. Regular workouts. This is tied to the point above. You will see results from your exercise regimen if you are consistent. A standing appointment with your personal trainer introduces that consistency into your life so you can see the results you want. 
  3. A personal trainer can show you a good starting point for you. Exercise regimens are not created equal. The kind of exercises you need to build up muscle for instance, are different from the kind that lead to weight loss. Thus, depending on your specific goals, a personal trainer can guide you and help you design an exercise/diet plan that is best for you physically and that which would also help you meet those goals.
  4. A personal trainer can bring fresh perspective to your workout routine. You’ve started working out on your own and you feel great. But you’re bored with your workouts. And we all hit plateaus with weight loss and fitness goals when we do the same exercises over and over again. A personal trainer can bring fresh perspective to your workout routine and introduce you to brand new exercises. Those brand new exercises will challenge new muscle groups that were not getting attention with your old exercise routine. 
  5. Need a challenge? Get a personal trainer. You’ve got your walking or running routine down. But you’re ready for a new challenge. A personal trainer can “up” your routines so you can challenge yourself and do more on your fitness journey. 
  6. Learn how to use new equipment. Have you ever walked into a gym, looked at the equipment in there and thought to yourself “I wonder how you use that.” And then, you wait for someone who looks like they know what they are doing to get on so you can watch them use it. Yes? Well, instead of being mistaken for a person who watches others at the gym, your personal trainer can introduce you to new equipment and show you how to use them.
  7. Learn to exercise without equipment. You may not always have access to a gym or exercise equipment. A personal trainer can show you effective ways to exercise without a gym or equipment.
  8. If you want to learn the proper way to exercise, a personal trainer can help. So far, we’ve gone on the assumption that everyone knows how to exercise the correct way. The truth is that, if you don’t know how to exercise correctly, you will get injured. A personal trainer will teach you about:
    1. Muscle groups
    2. The right exercises that target those muscle groups
    3. The type of equipment to perform those exercises on
    4. Good form and posture so you don’t injure yourself while exercising
  9. A personal trainer can customize a workout plan based on health conditions you may have. A chronic health condition should not stop you from working out. However, it is important to do the types of exercises that don’t endanger your life. A personal trainer who has worked with other individuals with your health condition can customize a plan that works well for you.
  10. Get ready for a sporting event with a personal trainer. A personal trainer can train you on the right exercises for that local soccer team you want to join or that 10K race you want to run.
  11. Setting realistic goals with a personal trainer can be hard. If you don’t have the right knowledge, you may be setting the wrong goals for your situation. A personal trainer will work with you to set healthy and realistic goals. 
  12. The right personal trainer will also challenge your mindset. Our minds are powerful and will regularly tell us that certain exercise types are “too much” for your body. Getting a personal trainer who challenges you can break those mindsets. And because of that mindset shift, you may see other areas of your life improve as well.