Use It Or Lose It: Creating a Daily Movement Regime During The Covid-19 Lockdowns

Mother and daughter stretching together

Upon hearing the words ‘Daily Movement Regime’, your first reaction might easily be skepticism. We move everyday right? Sure, we do. But are we moving enough? And are we moving in the right ways?


This was a pertinent question even before 2020 and 2021, with the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Lockdown to combat it, it has only become more pertinent!

Over Lockdown, large swathes of the population had their routines altered. At the time of writing, many of them still have routines unrecognisable from how they were in 2019.

But as the prospect of society re-opening and shifting to more resemble how it was ‘before’, we have decided to put together a brief article detailing how you can construct a Daily Movement Regime to get yourself ready for a more active life slowly and without the risk of injury. 

 

What is a Daily Movement Regime

So, the good news is that our remit and mission statement is broad. A Daily Movement Regime is a way to standardise and study how much you move in a day, how you could move more and do low intensity, high impact movements like stretching and walking to improve your body. 


As the title of this blog implies, if you don’t use it, you lose it, and over Lockdown many people stopped ‘using it’.

And as such, it is time to get back into the habit of using it.

We will be looking specifically at a Daily Movement Regime through the lens of Lockdown, Working From Home, and Lockdown easing. But of course, if that is all a distant memory by the time you read this, it will still be useful!

 

Your Commute

Are you working from home, then congratulations! You’ve just identified a portion of time you have now that you didn’t have in 2019.

Take the time you spent commuting to work (or round it up to ten minutes if you happen to live right next to your work) and use the time you would’ve spent getting ready in the morning to get moving. 


This could be the stretches we are going to look into shortly, or it could be a ‘fake commute’. Walking 10/20 minutes in your local area early in the morning. Not only is this a positive way to start the day, it also sets the tone nicely.

 

Get Moving to Music 

Speaking of a commute. What commute wouldn’t be complete without music?


This doesn’t just go for your walks either. Swapping out a Podcast, an Audiobook or the Television during work hours for some energetic music will help. 


Renowned good-time guy, Friedrich Nietzsche once said that ‘we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once’ and we think on at least this count, he was on the money.


Dancing is an incredibly beneficial act, not only physically but psychologically. Find a song you love, and as Mark Twain said, dance like nobody’s watching. (And then pray no-one is actually watching). 

 

Move whilst at your Desk

You needn’t even get up to dance or stretch.


There are stretches and exercises that can be done at your desk, during a meeting or just when you have a few minutes between calls or projects.

Shoulder rolls, wrist exercises, arm stretches, breathing exercises and neck movements are all possible whilst sitting down and can make you feel limber after only a few minutes. 

 

Going Mobile

Consider investing in a Wireless Headset if you find yourself the recipient of endless Zoom invites.

This will allow you to contribute to the conversation while getting away from your desk. Look into low energy exercises you can do whilst talking about Q3 and suddenly you’ll be turning boring meeting time into Yoga time. Result.

This also applies to the much more tried and tested ‘standing up during work phone calls’.

Providing you don’t need to be at your workstation, a phone call is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs, arms and anything else that we have covered. 

 

Yoga Apps 

If you don’t fancy leaving the house on your morning commute. There are a variety of free Yoga Apps that will act as an instructor for you and take into account the amount of space you may or may not have.


These apps can be perfect for brief, 5 minute exercises during a down-moment at work.

Yoga is calming and centring, so it will also, if done correctly, benefit your productivity as well as your bodily health. 

 

Research a Routine that works for you and mix it up:

Lastly, be on the lookout for new stretches and always be open to adding new exercises to your routine.

As we mentioned, Yoga Apps will be a great fountain of ideas. As will YouTube videos. 


We already covered some basic workouts above but don’t be afraid to write out your own list.

In his autobiography, Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about how he always found the most effective exercise regimes were when he was mixing up the order in which he did his exercises every day. 

 

This can be valuable for creating an energy to your stretches that isn’t just the same 5 exercises every day.

 

Step it up

Once you’ve been doing a Daily Movement Regime for a while, start to incorporate more strenuous exercises in there that can still be done at a moment’s notice but with little preparation. A few sit-ups, a few push-ups mid-way through stretching will be a good start.

Make sure you stretch enough beforehand to warm up your muscles though, don’t go cold into a set of push-ups unless you know what you are doing.

If you have stairs in your house or flat, doing incline push-ups or ‘stair’ push-ups is an easy gateway into a higher level of fitness and muscle development. 

 

Good Luck in forming this great new habit and routine

 

Now the only thing left to do is incorporate this way of thinking into your day to day life while working from home.

Working from home quite literally allows us a scope for freedom of movement that we just weren’t allowed in most offices, and it is time to take full advantage of that. If you are worried you won’t be able to retain the information we’ve covered, either make a note of it or bookmark the page.

Consider creating a folder or playlist of YouTube Videos, Apps and Blogs that have contained exercises and routines that look promising. The less of a barrier there is between you and this knowledge, the more likely you are to effect changes that will matter in your life.

 

Thank you for reading and good luck! 

Getting Ready For The Gym After a Year of Lockdowns

2021 goals checklist

After well over a year of intermittent closures for nearly all Gym’s and Fitness Clubs across the nation, most of us are very excited to return to an electronic rowing machine or load up our barbell.

And with that in mind, we must all be very careful not to overdo it. As Owners, Managers and Fitness Fanatics, it is important that we prepare to ease ourselves into working out in a professional and responsible environment and all return to the gym in as safe a manner as possible. 

 

We’ve gathered our best insights for the coming lifting of lockdown and our full (and hopefully permanent) return to normality. 

 

Start stretching to prepare your body


The Oldies are the Goodies as they say, and this one is no exception.

Many of us have fallen out of the habit of stretching over lockdown. Even fitness friends who have been working out from home have felt that their homes and gardens do not provide the same scope for pre-workout and post-workout maintenance as the Gym once did.

And we all know what a huge role stretching plays in injury prevention and muscle growth.

A lot of peers have been worried that it’ll be hard to get back into the stretching routines that we had pre-lockdown.

Try to put a real focus on stretching by reading blogs and watching videos that detail new and old stretching routines. Now is the perfect time to mix up your stretching game in a big way! 

This will help with our transition back into the Fitness Club and Gym environment in a responsible way and hopefully leave us in better standing than we were pre-lockdown.

As it proved with many things, Lockdown might be the idea time to break some negative cycles of behaviour. 

 

Be mindful and careful as you return to a more intense workout environment 

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Adonis or Arnie.

 

As we return to these more high-pressure and intense workout environments, it is more important than ever to be, be patient with yourself.

You may not be able to push yourself as fast, or as hard, or for the same length of time as you did pre-Lockdown. And that is okay, especially if you were taken ill and even if you weren’t. It is of utmost importance that you return in a responsible and mindful manner. There is no point having waited 4 or 15 months to return to the gym only to break your body as you try and do an obscene weighted pull-up.

Slow and steady wins the race and just because you’ve been spinning your wheels for a set amount of time doesn’t mean you need to go crazy on your first session. In fact, it means quite the opposite! 

 

Increase the amount of low-level exercise you’ve been doing from Lockdown Levels

 

I think it is safe to say that a good portion of the UK population started to move less during Lockdown. If you didn’t have a garden, your outside options were severely curtailed. Even if you did have a garden, the scope and applications for an outdoor space dramatically lessened.

Many people stopped needing to commute, stopped doing outdoor classes, sporting events, marathons, gigs, or even just being able to walk twice a day.

As such, you should make a conscious effort to increase the amount you are active consistently in the time running up to your triumphant return to the Gym.

 

Couch to 5k or Home-Workout Initiatives

 

Not comfortable returning to your Gym or Fitness Club as soon as Lockdown is lifted? Then why not try one of the popular health apps or programmes that can be done at home or outside around your local area.

Couch to 5k has become a household name and for good reason! Apps like Zombies, Run or None To Run offer more interesting and fun alternatives to the poster boy of the movement.


Or if you fancy something more based on weight-training and muscles, there are also sorts of good home-workout Apps, such as the official Apps provided by Athlean-X of YouTube fame.


All of these resources are free and will get you slowly and responsibly ready for your return to the Gym in your own time. 

 

Monitor yourself: Understand what you can do currently and where you want to be


During lockdown, we fitness fanatics learnt to improvise, adapt and overcome as the saying goes. And this was very apparent when it came to how we were working out.

Suddenly our Kettle Bells were replaced with heavy bottles of water and the door-frame was creaking under the strain of a pull-up bar. 

As such, your body is most likely not at the same level it was if you were a regular gym-goer before Lockdown and the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This represents an opportunity to start monitoring yourself anew. If you haven’t been using marked weights such as dumbbells or plates. Then understand what you’ve been lifting and make a note of it. Dedicate a notebook to what you are capable of currently and what that will translate to when you are ready, willing and able to return to the Gym.

 

Knowledge is king and understanding and transferring your temporary lockdown regime into something that can be used at your Gym or Fitness Club will make the world of difference and allow you to hit the ground running. 

Keeping Resistance Machines and Cardio Equipment Clean At Your Gym or Fitness Club

Disinfecting surface with antibacterial spray

In my workout circles, in the ‘before times’ prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the wiping down of equipment after you had used it was always something of a debate. 


Some of my less conscientious peers felt a little, shall we say, wilfully ignorant about why this would be necessary back in 2019.

It is safe to say that as we all start to return to our Gyms and Fitness Clubs in 2021, the nature of this debate will be drastically different. The Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us all the importance of wiping down and maintaining a hygienic Gym environment. 


As such, as part of our series of articles on returning to our Gyms and Fitness Clubs, we will be looking at how to settle into this new normality we find ourselves in.

It is now significantly more important that we look after both our Resistance Machines and our Cardio Equipment. No longer should you tolerate any friend, peer or fellow member who decides to not wipe down his equipment to jump straight into the next exercise. That thinking is a luxury we cannot afford as a business and a culture and an era that has now passed.

 

So keep reading if you want to explore our recommendations on how, where and why to clean up specific pieces of Gym equipment as well as an initial overview on the rules that apply to most or all machines. 

 

General cleaning of Resistance Machines and Cardio Equipment 

For each piece of Cardio Equipment and every different Resistance Machine at your Gym or Fitness Club, a slightly different approach will be needed.However, with that being said here are some of the more universal tips, mindsets and safe bets when it comes to making sure the equipment that has just been used will be safe and hygienic for the next person.

 

Come Prepared, or Be Prepared:

Nearly every Gym or Fitness Club I have been in post-Lockdown has had an effective system in place for making sure that their members can clean up equipment. Usually this has taken the form of a spray bottle and a piece of cloth in a mass repository somewhere in the Gym or Fitness Club.  


However it is important to do your research beforehand, different Gyms and Fitness Clubs may have different solutions depending on the facilities and resources that they have to hand.

It is most likely that a Gym or Fitness Club will give you the tools you need to maintain this equipment and keep it hygienic but it is important not to assume you know what you will find. Every Club is different. 

 

Don’t Assume A Machine is Clean:

We have largely talked about cleaning a Resistance Machine or Cardio Equipment after your workout, and this is the most important and intuitive time to do so. But with that being said, you should not assume post Covid-19 that you can just walk up to a piece of equipment and use it.

By carefully cleaning the exercise equipment before you start using it, you are ensuring that your exercise space is clean and ready for you and that it is much safer for anyone who comes along after. 

 

 

Cleaning your hands:

Another classic that I’m sure you have gotten used to over Lockdown (or I hope so at least!). Make sure you are washing your hands with a strong sanitizer, as often as possible while you are in a Gym or Fitness Club environment. This naturally includes when you arrive, at any point you feel it is necessary during and then again when you go to leave.

Washing your hands when you enter and leave a Gym or Fitness Club is especially important as these will be the times when you do not have your cleaning products to hand, and when you will be coming into contact with high-risk surfaces such as door handles.

 

 

Please, don’t use your own workout towel:

We all appreciate the thought, but using your own workout towel to clean down equipment is frankly more hassle than it is worth. It might feel intuitive to use the large piece of cloth that you always carry around with you, but trust us, keep to using the cleaning products and towels provided by the gyms. This will help to stop germs being unnecessarily delivered to the Gym and any given surface is sure to smell much nicer for it.

 

 

Ensuring your Belongings are Clean while on the Gym or Fitness Club floor.

For the same reason it is important to not go wiping your workout towel over all and sundry, it is also vital that you ensure your Phone, Waterbottle and any other equipment that you take out onto the workout area is fully clean.

While the act of resting your phone on a Treadmill might not seem significant, this is a point of contact that will be ripe for the spreading of germs from the outside onto the equipment. 

 

Weapon of Choice

Much like the FatBoy Slim song, Gyms and Fitness Clubs will be selecting their weapon of choice in our continued struggle to safely and hygienically reopen our doors.

Currently, the two most popular methods we have seen across the most Gyms and Fitness Clubs are either wet antibacterial towels or dry paper towels and a spray bottle of treated water. 

Both of these can be used in nearly the same way, the only difference will be disposal and the fact you’ll need to spray the dry paper towels before applying them to the machines.

Both methods are effective and should be used ideally before and after every use.

In terms of which method of Covid-19 cleaning and prevention to pick for your Gym or Fitness Club, it is important to consider space, storage, relative expense and the workout equipment within your business. 

 

 

Safety when cleaning electronic Gym equipment.


While this is less pertinent for Resistance Machines as these tend to lack electronic components. It is very important when it comes to traditional cardio machines such as the Treadmill or electronic Cross-Trainer.

It is just as vital to wipe down these machines, but be careful not to use a spray bottle directly on them, or to get the screen area or buttons over-wet. This could negatively affect performance on potentially harmful machines. 


As a Gym or Fitness Club Owner or Manager, it is important you let your members know that your electronic cardio equipment is not indestructible and that they must be cleaned with care for their safety and the benefit of everyone.

 

Focus on cleaning the main touch points of equipment:

Continuing on from the last point, as a Gym or Fitness Club Owner or Manager, it is important that your members know where to clean. While it may seem intuitive enough, putting up signs that detail vitals areas will help reduce any sloppiness. If possible, these should be included near the workout equipment in question, but I appreciate that this will not always be possible.

Be sure to include a compromise list, including the (gentle) cleaning of any buttons, as well as handles, adjustment levers and mounting handles. 

 

Be thorough:

As well as the vital areas on any given piece of workout equipment (as listed above), you should also be normalising the process of giving the entire machine a brief wipedown. While there are certain areas that are high-risk due to the large amount of physical contact. A member who has just used a machine will have been breathing on and potentially brushing up against many different areas of any given machine.

As such, we can never be too careful when instilling good practice and conduct when it comes to wiping down a machine. 

 

Be Patient:

As I talked about during the introductory paragraphs, the reason this wasn’t a universe practice at Gyms prior to 2020 and 2021 was merely because it took extra time. Unfortunately that hasn’t changed, but the necessity of ensuring we are being as hygienic as possible has.

As such, you need to be making sure that you as a gym goer or you as a Gym or Fitness Club owner are taking the time to make sure everything is clean. Make sure that the liquid has had time to do its work.


Cleaning a piece of workout equipment isn’t a race, it is a task to be seen through to completion

 

Disengage Safely from the Exercise Equipment Once Cleaned:

This may seem simplistic but it is important that once the equipment has been wiped down, you do not attempt to touch it again. 


If after cleaning up the treadmill or chest-press resistance machine you’ve been using, the eye of the tiger is back in you and you are ready for another three sets of ten, or another ten minute run then you’d best be prepared to clean it all over again when you are done!

 

As with many aspects of our lives, leaving Lockdown will require more planning in our daily routine than it did pre Covid-19. 

 

Providing Bins for wipes and paper towels in your Gym or Fitness Club

All of this was for very little if every Gym and Fitness Club became littered in germ-ridden rags and paper towels.

Placing Bins in strategic locations around your workout areas will help ensure that your members have their frustrations minimised and make them more likely to continue to ensure their workout area is clean, tidy and safe.

 

Now that we’ve covered all of the fundamentals of keeping Fitness Equipment clean and hygienic. It is time to close on a specific case study. We will be focusing on the specifics of cleaning all important cardio mainstays, the Cross-Trainer and the Treadmill, followed by the Chest-Press and the Rear Delt Fly Machine.

 

A Cross to Bear: Cleaning a Cross-Trainer as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

As we covered in our general cleaning tips and doctrines. It is important to understand that it isn’t only the handles you’ll be gripping and the foot-wells you’ll be stepping into that need to be cleaned after using a Cross-Trainer. 


You may have a preference and only use either the fixed handles or the vertical moving handles on a Cross-Trainer, but it is still vital that you clean both sets, as well as the front panel, including the display screen. This is because even if you don’t come into direct contact, you’ll have been breathing to a greater or lesser extent (depending on your pump). 

 

Finally, be sure to also wipe any and all buttons, even the ones you did not press.

 

 

Tread Carefully: Cleaning a Treadmill as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

Much like the Cross-Trainer. The Treadmill has several intuitive points of contact. The central tread belt being the most obvious, followed by the side rail handles and the front static handles.

All of these should be your priorities when cleaning, as well as any buttons, display screens and the entirety of the panel fixture in front of you. This will have taken the lion share of your breath and as such it is vital that you wipe it down before moving on

 

A Pressing Issue: Cleaning a Chest Press as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

The Chest Press has several parts that you’ll need to contend with when cleaning it down before and after your workout.

First, both sets of handles on the chest-press will be your first port of call. After that, the seat and backrest will be next on the agenda.

The pin that sets the weights will be next, in addition to any of the weight areas. It is also important to store the area that stores your phone and water bottle. If your Chest Press Machine has this feature. 

 

Flying High: Cleaning a Rear Delt Fly Machine as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

For the Rear Delt Fly Machine, it is more important than on the Chest-Press to clean the backrest/front rest (depending on the workout). This is because it will be subject to much more physical contact and will be directly in the path of the nose breathing trajectory.

As such, you need to pay special attention to the entire seat area while cleaning a Rear Delt Fly machine, before moving onto the handles, phone/water bottle area and the weight-pin. 

 

While it is a dramatic change for some of us compared to working out in 2019, if we all want to continue to use our Gyms and Fitness Clubs in a responsible manner. We have to do our part and ensure that the equipment is safe for both us, and the people who will use it afterwards.

A Gym or Fitness Club is a collective and we all have an obligation to protect ourselves and each other.

We hope you’ve gained some insight from this article and enjoyed the read.

Stay Safe out there. 

The Importance of Rest and Recovery in Fitness

WHY REST AND RECOVERY IS IMPORTANT IN FITNESS

The last thing your gym members want to plan for when chasing gains is having a day off. However, the truth is that rest and recovery is just as important as going to the gym in the first place. Recovery will prepare your members physically and mentally to gain the most from their workouts. This post will look at why rest and recovery are essential in fitness and why they need to be included in every gym and fitness club management strategy.

SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM REST & RECOVERY

Recovery in fitness can be divided into two types; ‘short-term’ and ‘long-term’. A Michigan State University article that covers the importance of rest and recovery for athletes states that short-term recovery takes place in the hours directly following exercise. This includes low-intensity exercise as a cooldown period. Conversely, long-term recovery refers to the planned recovery periods as part of an on-going routine. These can consist of days or weeks that an athlete dedicates to rest.

WHY IS RECOVERY ESSENTIAL?

During recovery, the body adapts to the stress caused by exercise and replenishes the energy that has been used. An important aspect of recovery, especially to those who are aiming to build muscle, is the recovery of damaged tissues. The damaged tissue is not an injury; it is how muscles grow. this is why the intake of protein is essential during this process. Avoiding rest and recovery time can result in overtraining, which may lead to a number of negative symptoms such as muscle fatigue, insomnia, decreased immunity, loss of enthusiasm and potentially depression.

HOW TO PUSH RECOVERY IN YOUR FITNESS CLUB

The relationship between physical health and mental well=being depends on time on and time off. -State of mind when training is an all-important factor. In fact, a mental barrier will stop a gymgoer just as much as physical fatigue will. Therefore, the key to promoting recovery is to introduce it in line with health and well-being. So, you should place emphasis on a prepared mental state to boost motivation and success.

A simple way to ensure recovery is promoted in your fitness club is by getting your personal trainers to encourage clients to include rest in their routines. Although there are many options, Myprotein provides a great way to think about and plan rest and recovery. Essentially, there is no clear number of days that should be dedicated to rest because it depends on the nature of the clients’ regime and lifestyle. However, the allocated rest time should be dependent on factors such as the frequency of workouts, volume of workouts, intensity of workouts and how active their lifestyle is.

Alongside this, Bodybuilding.com proposes key recovery factors to consider, such as post-workout nutrition (protein and potassium), having quality sleep, and pushing limits rather than annihilating them, allowing for quicker recovery time. Additionally, the most essential notion that is important for PTs is to encourage a healthy lifestyle that balances work and rest.

A further way to promote rest and recovery in any fitness club is using décor. As you may have seen, inspirational quotes and fitness heroes are key motivators, which is why they regularly cover gym walls. In this way, rest and recovery taking centre stage on your gym walls are sure to remind member just how important it is.

Another great idea is to actively include rest and recovery in your club. This can be done by providing a recovery space in your premises. This space could include a coffee shop for a pre-workout caffeine fix or a nutrition bar for high-protein shakes and foods. Depending on the size of your gym or fitness club, this could extend into post-workout spas that can include saunas, sports massages and even ice baths.