Don't let this lockdown go to waste
Written by: Meg Sharp, Fitness & Health Consultant, Cambridge Group of Clubs
The gym is closed. Right when you were ready to launch into 2022 on the right foot.
Fear not: that first perfect step is still well within your grasp.
Resolutions are funny things. They are hopes, dreams, and goals. Sometimes perfectly manageable. Sometimes awesomely audacious. Resolutions motivate and spurn action and behaviour change. Many exercise-based resolutions will take weeks and months to come to fruition. And – therefore – many get derailed before they are achieved.
Most transformational change requires changes of a more permanent kind. That is, you may need to alter your habits, your cues, your cravings, your environment, even – subtly – your identity.
If you want to be healthier, more active, more mobile, less stressed, faster, stronger… You need to start behaving like that healthier, active, mobile, calm, fast, strong being. With small behaviour shifts you cast a vote for that new identity. Those little shifts become habitual; you start to groove new patterns and, ultimately, set the stage for the transformation to take place.
You don’t need a gym for the beginning of that journey. Laying the foundation is the most important part. And that begins today.
Let’s use a concrete example: You want to be stronger than you are now. And so, you’ve decided – correctly – that you are going to need to hit some intense, heavy workouts. 3-4 times a week.
There are a few vital things you can – must?! – put in place before those kick-butt workouts happen:
- Create the habit of doing 3-4 strength training workouts every week.
- Figure out when you can realistically carve out 45-75 minutes, 3-4 times throughout the week to devote to these workouts. Put them in your calendar. Organize your eating and work schedule to support this. Garner the support you need to ensure these workouts can remain a priority.
- Start to stock your fridge with the nutritious foods you will need to fuel the workouts and facilitate building and recovery.
- Address any asymmetries, imbalances, or weaknesses that could undermine your ability to perform the heavy lifts safely and effectively. Mobilize the tight areas. Strengthen through the new found ranges of motion. Work on balance and single limb control.
Do this and then – when the gyms open – you will be ready to hit the ground running. So often we start the year TOO excited to take on a new challenge or achieve new goals. Our failure to take a breath and take the time to set the stage is the very thing that undermines our ability to – ultimately – be successful.
We’ve been given a gift of time: Let’s embrace it.