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Getting back in shape after the pandemic

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 11:41 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - As Maine gets closer to its pre-pandemic “normal”, you might be expecting to slip right back into your usual routine. But that can be a challenge, and Rhian Lowndes found out that getting back in shape after a year and a half long COVID slump will take some time and patience.

Tom Richard, director of Smith Wellness Center, says he’s enjoyed seeing people return to NMCC’s gym, but he wants to make sure they’re returning safely. He says, before you get back to your workouts, or start them for the first time ever, you might want to check in with your physician.

“A lot of things could have changed with their health and their fitness over the past year and a half,” said Richard.

Richard added that your pre-pandemic bests are not your post-pandemic goals

“Don’t use that as your base line, what you want to do is come back, take it slow, build back up.”

And apart from just getting back into your routine, some people want to lose pandemic pounds

“Set realistic goals... you cant do it all in one day, so you gotta take babysteps... its really helpful to have a log, a fitness log, and you start monitoring your progress and you start moving ahead and you start seeing little gains that youre making,” said Richard.

And Tara Whiton, owner of Life with Lemons, says research shows people gained weight during the pandemic, but it also points toward the risk factors people were exposed to by staying home

“not only have they gained weight, its that they were predisposed to some risk factors that lead to weight gain. Those risk factors are inadequate sleep, snacking after dinner, lack of dietary restraint, eating in response to stress,.. And reduced physical activity,” said Whiton.

She says it’s all about routine and consistency.

“reset yourself, breakfast lunch and dinner, don’t skip meals, in between have some snacks, focus on a wide variety of foods, eat your colors...focus on minimally processed foods, lean meats and you know, consistency.”

And don’t just focus on your weight. Check in on your mental health and stress levels, and when it comes to fitness, the scales aren’t the only indicator of progress. Monitor your heart rate each workout session, and increase the weight your lifting or your time on a treadmill.

“”the faster the recovery” is actually a really good indicator of your fitness level, if you’re recovering quickly, you find yourself recovering faster that’s a really good indicator of your fitness level,” said Richard.

So take it easy, but establish that routine and find a way to motivate yourself, whether it’s tracking progress or checking off your food groups.

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