Back to life, school and the gym?

The schools may have gone back but that doesn’t mean lockdown is easing. As we move into another week, we’ve yet another restriction to follow to keep us all safe. Gyms have re-opened, but how confident are you about returning to the gym or are you thinking about a starting a new membership? Our resident fitness contributor Annabel Jeffcoate looks at how lockdown may have caused a few pounds to creep on and aims to inspire confidence in the best way to get you safely back into an exercise regime.

Photo by Valeria Ushakova on

How do we gain weight?

Too many calories in and not enough calories out is one of the most common reasons for weight gain.    When we begin to put weight on, often the first thought is ‘it’s time to go to the gym,’ but what if we do not have the confidence to go into the gym? Even if we are confident, the current booking systems and class user limits can make it hard to schedule a class but don’t give up hope as there are ways around it. Why not set yourself a reminder as to when the class tickets go live, that way you may stand a good chance of booking. 

What do our bodies need to maintain a healthy wellbeing?    

During lockdown, Thriveldn, London’s mental health movement promoted the Government’s minimum 150 minutes of moderate activity for physical and mental wellbeing. To cater to this, the fitness industry quickly shifted online to support their community. 150 minutes of moderate activity is what would be required for an average male or female adult to maintain a healthy weight according to government guidelines, as long as a person is also following the intake recommendations of the Governments EatWell Guide for energy consumption, 2000kcal for females/day and 2500Kcal for men inclusive of food and drink.

We know the guidelines to maintain a healthy weight so how do we lose weight if that is our goal?    As a guide we could use Max Wishnofsky’s rule of thumb that 1lb of fat = approx 3500kcal, which is a deficit of around 500kcal per day for safe and effective fat loss.    Our choice is how we play with the variables to create that deficit.     

Let’s look at calorie expenditure.   Our total daily energy expenditure can be separated into three categories:     

  1. Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) – what your body burns at rest to function (approx 60-75% TDEE)
  2. The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) – digestion & fat storage (approx 10% of TDEE)
  3. The Thermic Effect of Physical Activity (TEPA) – Movement & EPOC (post exercise oxygen consumption to return the body to normal state) (approx 15-30% of TDEE) 

It is the TEPA which we can most easily adjusted for weight loss results either with:     

  1. Additional planned physical exercise 
  2. Extra non-exercise activity thermogenesis (moving more) – cleaning, daily movement, playing with the kids.
Photo by Snapwire on

How does this help us in terms of our confidence in returning to the gym?    In short, if you want to – go for it! You don’t have to though, you have the choices to:

  • Continue your classes online – that’s if you started them in the first place!
  • Play sports 
  • Increase your general day to day movement, an easy walk 20-30 minutes a day is a great starting point

How we perceive situations is all relative to our personal data bank known as our ego.     Many of us think that if we need more exercise that means we have to go to the gym. If it creates anxiety and doesn’t feel good for you then it is unlikely you will be motivated to be consistent. The ego is there to keep you safe relative to the data that it holds from previous experiences.    The recent pandemic will have prompted us all to make assumptions about how safe exercise spaces are.

In the mindset of Echkart Tolle, Author of The Power of Now – ‘You can choose to remain in the situation, leave it or change it.’

If you are not yet confident to return to the gym but you want to, why not make an agreement that feels good for you.     Could you go at quieter times? Wear gloves and ensure you have your own equipment and anti-viral spray.   Motivation and consistency comes from within, so;

  • Enjoy how you choose to move
  • Make it convenient for you
  • Ensure you feel good doing it

Want to understand more about how you can ‘Get Clear, Get Motivated and Have More Confidence?’ Then why not join me at the YourStyle Health and Confidence Coaching for Women’s FREE Webinar. To register your interest visit:   

Want to know the options in your local area to stay active? Visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s