Physical therapist warns against rushing back to reopened gyms


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gyms don’t look the same as they reopen with new coronavirus safety measures. A local physical therapist warns your body may not be the same either.

“They have to realize that they can’t go back and do what they were doing the last time they were in the gym,” says John Repsher, an athletic trainer, licensed therapist, and owner of Repsher & Associates Physical Therapy.

Repsher says you may be eager to get back to your fitness routine, but you may do more harm than good if you’re not careful.

“What happens is, the muscles warm up they feel very good and they don’t give you a warning that you may be doing too much, and without that warning, the next day you’re going to realize that yes, maybe you did do too much and you may have a few aches and pains,” he explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

Worst case scenario, you could seriously hurt yourself.

“You could strain a muscle. You could pull a tendon,” warns Repsher.

He says the good news is, it doesn’t take long for your body to recover the strength and endurance you’re used to.

“Muscles have what we call a muscle memory, and it doesn’t take anywhere near as long to regain a little bit of the lost ground that may have occurred over these last months,” he explains.

Repsher suggests as you get used to the new health protocols at the gym, also get used to starting out easy.

“Start back at a lower pace, lower weight, lower repetitions, and then lower time on a treadmill or any of the cardio machines,” he advises.

And if you have a serious fitness goal, don’t get too frustrated — being kinder to your body will help you get there.

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