Thousands of individuals have returned to the gym and indoor swimming pools as the UK’s lockdown policy relaxed on exercise environments this Saturday. A wide variety of opinions have been expressed on whether the timing is correct, and just how high the risk is in an exercise environment. While some individuals have returned to the gym at the first possible opportunity, others have decided to wait until they are ready. Others have decided to cancel their memberships and utilise other methods to stay active.
We spoke to Environmental Psychologist and Life Coach Lee Chambers, who recently contributed to the discussion around his own return on the BBC and in Men’s Health. He is quoted as saying “When the gyms re-open I will be there. As soon as the slots open up, I will be booking them into my business calendar as a vital meeting with myself. I have always been consistent with the gym, and a large part of this stems from how important it is to my overall health, as I have an autoimmune condition which affects my joints,”
He goes on to advise “I don’t take my phone in – the only inputs and stimulus I have are training my body,” he says. “It’s almost cathartic because it’s just me on my own, pushing my own boundaries. There are no other distractions.”
We spoke to Lee Chambers to get an expansion on his professional opinion on exercise environments. The overarching message was that certain people really thrive off being in a space designed to exercise in a routine way, a place where training their body was the highest priority. This is understandable given everyone having different environmental needs. He was quick to point out that the outdoors is incredibly powerful, as highlighted in his recent article here.
Given this, the choice lies with you. Do you feel ready to go back? And does the gym help you stay consistent and disconnect from the world? If so, maybe it is time to consider heading back.
Lee Chambers is an Environmental Psychologist and Founder of Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing.