After months of staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are aiming to return to regular exercise.

The advice is definitely to start slowly, and build back up to where you were, or get help from a personal trainer if you’re new to exercise and starting a new chapter of your life.

Many of us, admittedly, have been sedentary during the pandemic. According to data from the company Fitbit, which makes activity trackers, American adults tended to be about 12% less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March 2020 than they were in January 2020.

This period of rest means that many of us are at risk of injury, if we jump too enthusiastically into exercise. Reports have circulated throughout lockdown of DIY injuries arriving at CUH and other Cork hospitals. It’s easily done, where you start using new muscles groups vigorously after a period of non-use.

So how do you safely return to exercise, or start a new programme?

Patience is key! Just because you’ve decided you’re going to run your first 5k, 10k or half marathon, it doesn’t mean you should overdo it on the first day. Start slowly and methodically. Set a schedule or fitness programme, suited to your abilities, and gradually build up your fitness level.

The risk of injury drastically reduces when you take things slowly and at a manageable pace. Start at no more than 50% of your pre-Covid-19 lockdown exercise routine, make sure you are doing squats and weights in between cardio, and slowly and safely build up the amount and the intensity of your workouts.

Expect some muscle twinges after the post-lockdown exercise sessions, especially a day or two later, but if you feel sudden or increasing pain during any exercise, it’s time to stop and consult with your personal trainer.

If you’re a first-timer interested in exercise, you should book in with a personal trainer in Cork, ideally with me!! You will need a customised programme specifically tailored to you and your needs, that will allow you to build strength and fitness in a safe and supervised way.

Check out my video here on how to do two great leg exercises: The Squat and The Lunge.

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Here’s what Gillian’s clients say:

The thing I found best was knowing that every session Gillian solely focused on my progress and that I have to do the work in between to be up to standard.and that Gillian will subtly get the most out of me during every session, without pushing me beyond what I am capable of.”

Claire,22

FITNESS / WEIGHT LOSS / TONING

My objectives were to get back to a good level of fitness, lose some weight along the way and to end up with a program that I could continue to work with on a regular basis. Gillian worked with me on a program she put together and it worked out brilliant. Within 3 weeks of the 6 week program, I felt infinitely better. I went from struggling with a mile run to comfortably running 6 miles several times a week. The program and Gillian’s support provided me with the structure, motivation and guidance along the way that I needed. If I was trying to achieve the same thing on my own I would not have come close to the same results.”

David, 34

FITNESS / WEIGHT LOSS / TONING

Gillian has helped put great structure and focus around my goal to get fit and slimmer during the past year. I am so thrilled with the results that training has become a very positive lifestyle choice.”

Valerie, 43

FITNESS / WEIGHT LOSS / TONING