Updated: Apr 20
April 12th 2021 is a date many will welcome with open arms, legs, and all the major muscle groups in between as gyms are set to reopen in England via the roadmap out of national lockdown. And here at MSE Sports & Remedial Massage we’re delighted to welcome you back for sports massage, deep tissue massage, sports injury treatments, and soft tissue injury treatments in Nottingham. But, maybe you’ve found a fitting routine to follow at home or outdoors, explored a new style of fitness, or life priorities have changed which have no space for a room full of sweaty people. On the other hand, perhaps getting back to a dedicated exercise environment is just what you need to enhance your movement potential and regain some missing motivation.
Below you’ll find two answers to that question you might have already asked yourself: “Do I even need the gym after lockdown?”, so that you can consider both sides of the coin and weigh up what is really valuable to you and how you move.
The human movement system doesn’t care if you pay for a gym membership. If an appropriate training stimulus and intensity is applied, that’s all that matters to make change in the body. Press-up or bench press? Leg press or single-leg squat? Treadmill or pavement? Sure, there are intricate differences like open or closed kinetic chain exercises, levels of stabilisation and surface impact. But, in a broad sense, for most of us, the fundamentals are covered either way, whether you’re at home doing a bodyweight workout or fighting over a squat rack.
Having a good understanding of your body and how to progress and regress exercise, along with any equipment you might want/need, is enough to sustain and develop your physical fitness without the need for a fitness suite. In other words, you don’t need a gym to improve in any component of fitness; you can achieve great potential by treating the world as your gym.
The Benefits of Not Going Back
✅ you will take greater ownership of your training and your body.
✅ feeling more connected to your natural environment and local area, likely outdoors which helps reduce stress levels and improves cardiovascular fitness through walking more.
✅ save money. This means you can invest more in other areas to improve your movement.
✅ challenging your movement also challenges your mind. This makes exercise not just physically stimulating but mentally too as you calculate and learn how to progress or regress movement.
Things aren’t always as black and white as this though…
Most of us probably don’t have garages kitted out with Olympic lifting bars, resistance and cardio machines. Gyms have all that, and more. Specialised equipment can be essential if you are working towards a specific performance goal, are new to exercise or have challenges with mobility. Here, fixed machines, free weights and cardiovascular equipment make your experience, goals and needs instantly more accessible through supporting and enhancing your movement system.
Gyms are more than just an area to store exercise kit in though. They are social spaces that provide much needed support, comfort and motivation to many through group exercise programmes, staff instructors/trainers, and just being in an environment exclusively dedicated to exercise to enjoy with others, unlike home. Following the lockdown, having this social connectivity and support could be essential to keeping you inspired and on track. Motivation alone is extremely valuable to our adherence to exercise, so consider what encourages you to move, and move well, to begin with, as the shared gym experience might just be key to this.
The Benefits of Going Back
✅ you can still gain almost all the benefits of not going back by going back.
✅ training with others and around professionals can help identify faulty movement patterns and imbalances you might miss yourself.
✅ quality movement requires good foundational education and sometimes supportive equipment. These can be found in the gym a lot more easily than at home or outdoors.
✅ having a dedicated space for exercise can focus the mind, and in turn the body. Distractions are a lot more likely at home or outdoors.
So, do you need a gym after lockdown to facilitate the way you move? To answer that question, try and interrogate the value of a gym for your personal experience, needs and goals. Which side of the coin you invest in will depend on what you believe has the potential to make long-term progressive change for you by inspiring you to move more, and more efficiently.
If you’re feeling the effects of lockdown remember a professional sports massage in Nottingham can help postural dysfunctions, limited movement, mental conditions, back and neck pain and so much more. We’re offering £5 off 60 minute treatments booked online in April so treat yourself!
MSE Sports & Remedial Massage Content Creator