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Adam’s story: How the gym has helped him

15th October 2020

Scared of the gym? Struggling with your mental health during lockdown? We speak to our Ballymena member Adam about the positive impact joining the gym has had on him, and what advice he would give to anyone who keeps “putting off” going to the gym.

Adam joined in 2019 after being unhappy with his weight, look, and confidence. After regularly going to the gym a few times a week, he started to see a significant improvement in his self-confidence, physical health, and his mental health.

Read below to see his journey and what the gym means to him, in his own words. Thank you for being part of LSF family Adam!

Q: What does the gym mean to you?

A: “The gym is a fundamental part of my physical and mental wellbeing. After lockdown I realised how important the gym had been towards keeping a healthy lifestyle. After 4 months of losing my exercise routine, my lifestyle and confidence started to suffer during lockdown. It is important to me that I am making progress to help build self-confidence and working towards my weight goals.”

Q: How often do you go to the gym?

A: “Before lockdown I used to go 2 or 3 times a week, which I found to be the perfect balance with my school schedule and other hobbies at the time. Following lockdown in the summer, I found myself with more time to spare and after 4 months of being stuck in the same environment every day, I wanted to make myself available for the gym more. So, I started to go 5 or 6 times a week when available, to keep myself occupied, build progress again, and make up for the months of no exercise during lockdown.”

Q: What impact does it have on your health?

A: “I started going to Lifestyle Fitness in June 2019 after my friends encouraged me to go. I found myself unhappy with my weight, look, and confidence. As an asthmatic, I always struggled with exercise due to having poor stamina and being generally unfit. Through building an exercise regime at the gym, I have been able to build on my stamina and improve the condition of my asthma through exercise. This is something I had not even considered to be a result of exercising at the gym. My self-confidence has massively improved; I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud with the progress I have made.”

Q: How important do you find going to the gym in terms of mental health? Did this change after lockdown?

A: “I never considered my mental health as something that the gym could have helped with prior to joining. I always thought going to the gym would be more of a chore in my life, rather than being a way of improving my mental wellbeing. But after a year it is easy to say that the rhythm and routine of exercise that the gym provides, gives me a reason to leave the house knowing that I have done something positive for myself.”

“The closure of the gym during lockdown left a void in my everyday life that the gym once filled, and it deteriorated my mental health over the course of lockdown. I felt I lost progress of my fitness goals as days went by, that I could have spent time improving by exercising at the gym. When the gym reopened in July, I found myself so grateful to have something in my life to come back to. I never previously considered exercise to have a serious correlation with mental health. But as I have seen my confidence improve and seen the gym as a primary place to release stress from busy days, it is clear to me that a healthy lifestyle through exercise is a certain way to aid mental health.”

Q: What recommendations would you give to others who haven’t been to the gym for a while?

A: “To people who may find themselves putting off going to the gym, it is something that I can understand and relate to. I previously viewed the gym as more of a burden than a benefit or finding it easier to avoid the gym - due to a lack of motivation. But I found that even a bad workout is better than no workout. It's important to remember that results require patience and effort throughout. Though the commitment and consistency can sometimes be difficult to maintain, the benefits for one's physical and mental wellbeing are evidently a factor that makes it worth it.”