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Headed back to the gym? Experts say take it easy at first

Frequent, clear reminders of cleanliness key to stopping spread of coronavirus in gyms
Posted at 6:27 AM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 07:43:17-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Many people may be feeling ready to get back to their regular work out routines now that gyms are operating at full capacity under Phase Two of the governor’s plan, but doing so too quickly could cause injuries.

Experts say taking months off from working out at a gym will cause some regression, but it’s important to remember that it’s natural and happens to everyone.

“Check your ego at the door. It’s hard for us to do,” said Chris Angel, Fitness Specialist at Tampa General Hospital. “I may have been lifting like Arnold Schwarzenegger two months ago, but I’m not the same person now. And I need to go into my exercises with that in mind.”

Angel suggests taking several weeks to ease back into things. He says it’s important to warm up for five to ten minutes with bodyweight exercises that mimic your workout for the day.

Once you make your way to the machines or dumbbells, don’t lift too heavy or too quickly.

“Lighter weight with perfect form is always going to be more beneficial than heavyweight with bad form,” said Angel.

If you’re not careful, you could end up dealing with shoulder problems, knee injuries or back pain.

And remember, taking days off is just as important as days spent at the gym.

“Listen to your body and get proper rest in between,” Angel said.