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Many of us are feeling a little out of touch with our bodies after being denied the chance to exercise in the way we’ve been used to. I certainly have. Returning to the gym after a forced three month break has been a bruise to the ego – I don’t feel as strong as I was before.

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That’s me though. Maybe you’re even fitter than before. Some people have acquired gear and fitted out impressive home gyms, discovered golf or reignited a passion for running. For those of us committed to our physical health, we’ve been forced to think a little outside the box as to how we should look after ourselves.

During the lockdown, my schedule opened up quite a bit. I was able to play more tennis during the week than I’ve been used to, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Usually, I like to do resistance training (lifting weights) but since I don’t own any, I resorted to a mix of bodyweight exercises and skipping. These activities are more calorie burning than they are muscle building but they at least allowed me to maintain a good level of fitness.

Now that all of our fitness options have been restored, you might be asking yourself, “what should I do now?” F45, Orange Theory, 12 Round, Fitness First, Anytime, Jets, UFC Gym, Plus Fitness, Crunch Fitness, some random social media influencer’s new fitness app or your local boutique gym are one of many options. What about swimming, running, cycling, yoga, pilates, crossfit or joining a sporting club like tennis or soccer? Gosh there’s too many options!

If I’m honest, I still find myself longing to be that 95kg, 4% body fat, ripped muscular body. You know, Chris Hemsworth-esque. Now that I’m in my 40s however, I am slowly succumbing to reality. With my schedule and all of my ailments, looking like Mr Hemsworth may not be entirely possible. I won’t lie, hitting my 40s has definitely been a turning point for my body.

Years of sport, work and time in the gym has seen me develop a labral tear in my right shoulder. This has meant an end to my tennis career – a sport I’ve literally spent my life working on. Although still at 80%, my knees are also showing more significant signs of wear. In addition to this, I note that the weights I’m lifting in the gym are slowly decreasing, my recovery time is taking longer, and in general, I suffer random pains throughout my body from week to week.

The head is still strong though. Since I love the game so much, I’ve began playing tennis left-handed. This has a been challenge, to say the least, but there’s no way I can keep myself off the court for the rest of my life. I need tennis like I need air to breathe. You can also still find me in the gym, although I have to be more careful with what I do.

Recently, I spoke to someone I know who’s in his 60s. A very successful businessman with much wisdom to share. We weren’t talking about fitness specifically, more so about life in general. Towards the end of our conversation he said to me, “Tom, do more of what you love.”

Yes, we’ve probably all heard this one-liner before. Perhaps it’s taken me until now to really hear it though. When I’m on the court playing well, there’s no better feeling for me. I still love training in the gym, but from this point, I’ll be looking to spend more time on court. It’s great exercise, gets you outdoors, and for me, it’s what I really love.

If you’re trying to work out what to do to keep you fit – do something you love too.

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