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Bootcamp instructor shares how to get back in the gym after lockdowns

a blue pair of dumbells sit on a white ground. there is a scale, black workout shoes, and the corner of an excersize ball in the background.

By Angela Kazmierczak

With the boundaries of work and home blurring and energy being spent from online classes, many people have put their exercise routines on the back burner. To help students regain mental clarity and energy while in the limbo of COVID-19, Margareta Jesse, NAIT’s Bootcamp instructor, explains why we should exercise and how to get back in the gym.

#1. Start with something you enjoy

Once the motivation is finally mustered, many people hit the first exercise sessions with extreme intensity. Instead, Jesse advises that people “start small and simple with the activities they enjoy.” It’s important people don’t expect to start where they left off two years ago. 

Rather, be accepting of this moment and of where we are with exercise. Start with any small, consistent activity, even if it’s for five minutes. Any amount of exercise “builds confidence and healthier coping habits, which leads to better moods and less stress; and, in turn, more exercise,” she says. 

#2. Acknowledge you’re a workout away from a better mood

For many people, conjuring enough motivation to exercise is tough work. It sometimes helps to acknowledge that “you’re one workout away from a better mood that you’re in right now” though.  

Jesse says, “And when we do not feel like doing something, maybe that’s when we need it most.” Make sure what you’re doing is fun, because we are more likely to do what’s fun. 

#3. Expending your energy gives energy

It sounds counterintuitive but expending energy gives energy. Knowing this can motivate people to get “back to feeling good, both mentally and physically,” says Jesse.

In fact, according to the International Sports Sciences Association, “the first experience [exercising] is exhausting, but over time you also feel less tired . . . Exercise especially boosts cardiovascular health and fitness and improves the body’s ability to circulate oxygen. This improves energy immediately, but over time you also feel less tired . . .”

Jesse offers modifications to all her fitness classes. She says the Bootcamp classes are ideal for any person of any level, whether beginner or advanced. The classes are free to attend during noon as well. Students only need to reserve a seat.

Fitness classes are now being held in-person and virtually. Students can either join the Teams meeting or head over to Exercise Studio S112, near the Nest campus bar. To reserve a seat or to get more information about NAIT Well-being classes, students can access the Ooks Life page here.

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