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Meet director and personal trainer Carl Benton from Personal Best

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Prior to establishing the Personal Best, Carl Benton taught Physical Education, coached teams, and ran fitness classes for 10 years in the New Forest. Carl was also a regular contributor to Ultra Fit magazine, writing over 40 articles in collaboration with Pete Cohen.

Personal Best opened its doors in April 2001 solely as a Personal Training Studio. In 2005 Carl & his wife Kristine bought the business and set about creating something special. 

Carl will provide views on health and fitness in his new column for Stroud Times.

It has been fantastic seeing so many people out walking, cycling, jogging, enjoying the scenery and taking advantage of the fresh air.

With lockdown restrictions gradually lifting, golf courses, tennis courts opening, and outdoor sports resuming, even more, will be returning to exercise. With gyms set to open on the 12th of April, there may well be an avalanche of activity, but also a few aches and pains!

If it has been a while since you had any regular exercise routine and want to return to your old ‘shape’ and form, you might be tempted to pick up where you left off. But, a word of caution, picking up where you left off might result in you injuring yourself or becoming so stiff and sore that you never wish to step foot in the gym again!

If you have trained before, the good news is your muscle ‘memory’ remains for a long time, so the healthier and better shape you were in to begin with means the less time it will take to get back to where you want to be!  This is because your muscle fibres remember” previous training movements so that when you get back to exercising after a long-lasting layoff, you are able regain lost muscle with ease!

Naturally, the longer you go without exercise, the longer the process of recovery but if you follow these guidelines, you will help you get back to feeling healthy and vibrant in no time. It will help you immensely if you lower your expectations at the start, as to begin with you may feel a little ‘rusty’ and sluggish. By reducing the pressure on yourself, you may be less inclined to feel frustrated and quit!

Gradually ease back into your workouts to avoid injury.

Slowly build up to a less-intense version of your regular workout, before ploughing into the ‘intense’ version you were performing before your respite. Keep intensity low (around 50-60% of your perceived ability). Gradually increase intensity and resistance as your body becomes accustomed to your new regime.

Patience and dedication are crucial, remember, you can regain your fitness, it just needs time and investment.  Small setbacks and minor blips are just part and parcel of your quest for healthy active lifestyle.

As you slowly but surely ease back into exercise, it is vital that you consider that your time away from training might have meant not only a reduction in the amount of exercise you performed, but potentially the amount of movement you may have performed on a daily basis.

If you are new to exercise, the same rules apply, but your success and motivation will be greatly helped if you chose an activity you really enjoy, and you can share with friends and family. Whatever you do, have fun, have variety, and stay safe.

Personal Best Health & Fitness Stroud | Personal training & Chiropractor nearStroud – Home Page (personalbeststudio.co.uk)

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