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1Life Blog

Getting back to fitness with 1Life

Posted by James Cole on 02-Nov-2021 09:00:03

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The reopening of gyms and the resuming of group exercise classes has been some welcome news to many of us. Whether you used the gym closures as an opportunity to explore different forms of exercise like running or cycling, or you took a break from training, you might be worried that your fitness has suffered during this time.

Don’t worry though, with a bit of patience and perseverance you’ll soon be back to your former fitness levels. If you’re struggling to get back in to the swing of things, we’ve put together a ‘back to fitness’ plan to help you focus and get back on track with your fitness goals.

As everyone’s starting fitness levels are different or if you are recovering from Covid, you might need to adapt the plan to suit you. Remember to take things slow to begin with and if at any point an exercise feels uncomfortable, stop to avoid injuring yourself. Remember, the aim at this stage is to raise your heartbeat but you should still be able to hold a conversation while exercising, so modify the following plan to suit your current fitness level.

The following example workout plan should take between 45 minutes to an hour to complete, if this is too long then break the workout down and spread over a number of days. To really see results you should aim to workout three times a week but listen to your body and don’t over do things too soon.

Warm up

Don’t forget to skip the warm up as it warms up your muscles ready for exercise and reduces the risk of injuries. You can use any cardio equipment for this so the treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike, rowing machine or stair-stepper are all fine.

Your warm up should be at an easy – moderate pace, raising your heart rate slowly by increasing your pace and resistance. Aim for 5 minutes at this pace and intensity before increasing the pace and resistance further for 2 minutes before reducing the pace and resistance again for a further 2 minutes. Repeat this increase/reduction in intensity and follow with some simple stretches.

Strength, Cardio and Stretch

For strength training you want to head to the free weights and weight machines which are usually grouped together on the gym floor. Choose a weight that you can lift for 10 reps without too much discomfort towards the end. Rest for 60 seconds between each set and aim to complete 3 sets of 10 reps for each.

- Dumbbell lunges

- Leg press

- Dumbbell shoulder press

- Lat pull down

- Cable chest fly

Your cardio can be based around the cardio equipment mentioned in the warm up section. Aim to increase the duration and intensity over time and explore some of the pre-set programmes on the equipment. Alternatively, you could introduce a high-intensity interval training circuit (HIIT) to your workout. Aim to complete 5 rounds of the following:

- 10 burpees

- 10 press ups

- 10 sit ups

Once you have completed your workout it’s time to cool down and stretch. Again, this is a part of your workout which shouldn’t be neglected. A gentle walk on the treadmill for 2 – 3 minutes should be enough to return your heart rate to normal. A few simple stretches at the end of your workout can go a long way to avoid stiffness and muscle strains. Here are a few to introduce at the end of your training session.

- Buttock stretch – hold for 10 to 15 seconds

Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest.

Cross your right leg over your left thigh.

Grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands.

Pull your left leg towards your chest.

Repeat with the opposite leg.

- Hamstring stretch – hold for 10 to 15 seconds

Lie on your back and raise your right leg.

Hold your right leg with both hands, below your knee.

Keeping your left leg bent with your foot on the floor, pull your right leg towards you keeping it straight.

Repeat with the opposite leg.

- Calf stretch – hold for 10 to 15 seconds

Step your right leg forward, keeping it bent, and lean forwards slightly.

Keep your left leg straight and try to lower the left heel to the ground.

Repeat with the opposite leg.

- Triceps stretch – hold for 10 to 15 seconds

Stand with your feet hip distance apart.

Place your right hand at the top of your back.

Apply gentle pressure with your left hand so your right hand reaches further down your spine

Repeat with the opposite arm.


If you’re interested in a more personalised plan, speak to one of our friendly PTs who will be happy to help. Contact your local 1Life centre to find out more.

Topics: winter exercise, gym, 1Life, health, fitness