Getting Back To The Gym


Here at the West End Athletic Club, physical activity is always something we have encouraged. Whether it is found in a structured routine at your local gym or going on weekly walks around your neighbourhood. Fitness is a necessity for anyone looking to improve their mentality and lead a healthy lifestyle. 

However, with the sedentary behaviour that most have adopted during COVID-19 lockdowns and restriction, not only is getting active important, but it is also has lifesaving potential. 

The Impact of Prolonged Sedentary Behaviour 
While sedentary behaviours may not appear to be outwardly detrimental, your body and mind have most likely felt a lasting impact over this past year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity can now be identified as a leading cause of disability and disease. They additionally state it has a high association with poor mental health. Some of the more pronounced effects are detailed below. 

The Effects on Your Physical Health 
Prolonged sedentary behaviour, which most have engaged in while stuck at home, has a lasting effect on physical wellness and if continued at its current rate, poses serious physical risks. One of the main side-effects is metabolic diseases. Metabolic diseases that have a close relation to sedentary time are type 2 diabetes, blood pressure hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity. 

Aside from metabolic issues, physical illnesses involving the heart are common, as are strokes. Additionally, insufficient amounts of exercise directly correlates to a greater prevalence of cancer, specifically the colorectal and prostate variety. A lifestyle with a significant amount of sedentary behaviour has even been linked to premature death and a higher mortality rate. 

The Effects on Your Mental Health 
Mental health can also suffer significantly when faced with extended amounts of sedentary time. The biggest mental wellness issue that is connected to an unhealthy lifestyle is depression, which directly targets children, adolescents, and young and old adults. Remaining stationary increases feelings of loneliness and reduces social interaction that would otherwise provide serotonin and supportive relationships. A lack of exercise additionally decreases the number of endorphins your brain receives, and, for some, it can harm their bodily perceptions. 

Anxiety is also of concern in relation to sedentary activities. It has been found to disrupt biological pathways and reduce quality sleep, which culminates in higher rates of anxiety. There are additional cumulative effects for prolonged stationary behaviour. There have even been links between a stationary lifestyle and the development of bipolar disorder. 

What You Can Do
With a better understanding of the effects of sedentary behaviour on your health, it’s time to learn what you can do combat your current inactivity. Below are some foundational ways to apply fitness into your daily routine. 

Personal Training 
Personal fitness training it’s a great way to engage in physical activity after a prolonged sedentary lifestyle. Not only are you committing to helping yourself improve, but you have the added benefit of personalized aid, which is custom designed for your well-being. Personal training can reduce your likelihood of experiencing the negative effects brought on by COVID-19 lockdowns, including a reduction in immune system strength and a lack of motivation. 

At West End, we offer private training in a variety of categories, including Boxing, Kickboxing, Weight and Strength Training, Body Building, and Personal Training. Each lesson is designed to ensure you are meeting your physical activity needs and ensures you learn the best exercises for you. 

Group Classes 
Group classes are another way to promote an active lifestyle and make sure you are prioritizing your fitness, while being engaged socially. Group lessons tackle physical health issues brought on by sedentary behaviour, such as joint pain and an increased risk of heart attacks. It also works on directly improving mental health by creating connections and bonds with other students. 

The West End Athletic Club offers several forms of group lessons, all with the goal of creating a welcoming social environment and ensuring the health of our members. The forms of group classes available include Fitness Boxing, Technical Boxing, Body Sculpting, and Kickboxing. 

Independent Fitness 
Besides group classes and personal training sessions, breaking a pattern of sedentary behaviour can also be done independently. Many forms of physical activity … 

At West End, we have an open gym available, where members can prioritize their fitness needs using state-of-the-art equipment. This also allows access to independent boxing equipment, such as bags and jump ropes, which can make for a fun new form of physical activity. 

Check out some of our available programs on our website and make the decisions to get back into an active lifestyle and prioritize your health.

Taylor Villa is a Queen’s University undergraduate student in a dual major program of political studies and sociology, and a freelance editor/writer specializing in Fitness, Health, and Wellness.