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Top 3 Tips for Returning to Exercise Safely

Posted on April 26th 2021 by

Top 3 Tips for Returning to Exercise Safely

Top 3 Tips for Returning to Exercise Safely

After the last year I think it is safe to say many of us are eager to get back to some form of normality!

For some readers that means returning to your local LED leisure centre so you can safely rebuild your fitness levels and improve your health.

LED Community Leisure would like to reiterate that our team is here to support our members, PAYG users and the wider community safely returning to our leisure centres.

In this blog, Barnaby gives his top 3 tips for anyone who has been shielding or awaiting their 2nd vaccination and is now ready to safely return to our leisure centres after a year away. If you’d like to contact Barnaby for further information, please email him at

  1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Before you turn up at your local LED leisure centre eager and raring to go, I strongly recommend you check a few details ahead of time. Our sites have had to adapt our opening times, booking procedures and available activities in line with COVID-secure guidelines from governing body UK Active.

You wouldn't want to turn up to our Leisure Centre in your favourite gym outfit, raring to go and sadly be turned away because the gym is fully booked at max capacity, our gym team are in the middle of a deep clean or your membership is still suspended.

I recommend checking the latest timetable, booking procedures and terms & conditions for your local LED Leisure Centre or Swimming Pool ahead of your visit. This information is all available on the LED website or, alternatively, you can call your local LED centre directly during opening hours to speak to a member of staff.

You may need to download the LED Leisure app to book your gym, swimming, or court session. Click the links below to download.

You should have recently received an email confirming your current membership status. If you are at all unsure whether your membership is currently active or not please contact our membership team by emailing

  1. Have low expectations of yourself but set high standards.

This one might sound a little confusing, please allow me to explain.

Have Low Expectations of Yourself

Fitness is the most honest thing you can do in life. If you put good quality work in, you will see good quality results in time. As frustrating as it may be, the reality is that after an enforced year away from LED you may not be able to exercise at the same intensity, duration or frequency as you were able to before March 2020.

I have seen many people return to Seaton Fitness Centre and Sidmouth Leisure Centre confused and frustrated that they used to be able to lift 50kg but can now ‘only’ lift 20kg. In fact, I have experienced this frustration myself and understand how discouraging it can be to compare yourself to your physical peak after a significant amount of time off. It can feel like you are at point A but you want to be at point Z.

I would like to reassure you that whilst it will take some time and high standards of work you will slowly start to progress to point B, point C and so on.

For now, be kind to yourself and lower the expectations of your performance in the gym, swimming pool or on the court and just enjoy yourself.

High standards

Once you have accepted that your performance in the gym is not going to be what it used to be you are only halfway there. The other half is accepting that if this is what you can do today then you should do it to the best of your ability so you can do more in the future.

Set high standards of attitude and mentality when you enter our centres ready to exercise, in how thorough your warmup is, in how well you move during an exercise, in how well you cool down and everything in between.

When you are on the seated chest press, recumbent bicycle or you are stretching your upper arm ask yourself the below questions:

  • “Am I doing this to the best of my ability?”
  • “Is my technique perfect?”
  • “Am I moving this weight with control or going through the motions?”
  • “Am I keeping my core engaged and shoulders relaxed?”

Of course, it can take years of experience to properly understand how to perform exercises and answer these questions well. Luckily our helpful and friendly gym team are here to offer support and guidance so you can ensure you are exercising to the best of your ability.

  1. We are here to help!

Our Fitness & Wellbeing Coaches are here to support you. Our team of fantastic fitness instructors and passionate personal trainers genuinely want to see you progress safely towards your health and fitness goals.

We have teamed up with Future Fit Training. We are pleased to announce that all LED fitness & wellbeing coaches have completed the COVID rehabilitation course in collaboration with Future Fit Training. The course focuses on rehabilitating any members who may have had COVID-19 safely back to exercise. 

I strongly recommend any member returning to our gyms to book a free 30 or 60 minute review (this service is included within your LED membership) with a member of our gym team.

Our qualified and experienced gym team will help you build confidence in your ability to exercise well.

We can provide a quick refresher on how to use the treadmill safely or even write a basic training programme to ease you safely back into exercise. Speak to a member of the team at your local LED leisure centre today to find out more.

These are my top 3 tips for any members who need a little extra support returning to their local LED Leisure centre safely. If you would like further advice you can email me on

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