Life can get busy, especially during the summer months, and taking a break from exercise is completely normal. Whether the break is due to work commitments, vacation time, health reasons or simply a change in routine, getting back on track might feel daunting. Follow along for some effective tips on how to ease back into exercise to ensure a safe and enjoyable restart to your fitness routines.
1. Reflect on Your Goals
Before diving headfirst into a new exercise routine, take a moment to reflect on your fitness goals. Are you aiming for weight loss, increased strength, better flexibility or simply a healthier lifestyle? Understanding your objectives will help you tailor your workouts to achieve the desired results.
2. Start Slowly
This is probably the most important point – and one that many people fail at. The temptation to pick up right where you left off might be strong, but it’s very important to start slowly to allow your body to adapt to the new demands and avoid injuries. As a starting point, don’t aim for your personal best. Don’t exceed a rate of perceived exertion of 7 out of 10 during your first few weeks. Be careful with HIIT workouts, you will likely need to incorporate modifications early on as well as slowing your pace and taking longer rest breaks until you can build up your capacity again. The longer your time off, the slower you may need to go to build up safely.
3. Listen To Your Body
Pay close attention to how your body responds to the new activity/exercise. It’s normal to experience some muscle soreness but sharp pain or excessive lasting discomfort could be a sign to take it easier and seek professional guidance.
4. Make Sure To Warm Up
The warm up is an important aspect of your workout. Be sure to set aside 10-15 mins to first get your heart rate up and then take your body through exaggerated movements that you will use during your workout. This helps prepare your muscles and joints for what is to come as you exercise.
5. Make It Enjoyable
Returning back to exercise can be a challenge because it takes effort, energy and hardwork. So make it fun and choose an activity you enjoy so that you’re more inclined to follow through. Try inviting a buddy to incorporate some social fun into your workout. Create an energizing playlist of songs to listen to while you work out. Lastly, reward yourself for your hardwork. Book a massage after your first week of workouts or treat yourself to a nap or a new book. Choose a reward that you are excited about.
6. Prepare & Schedule Your Workouts
Treat your exercise sessions as important appointments. Schedule them into your calendar and get your bag/equipment ready the night before. The convenience of having everything prepared will make you less likely to back out and encourage you to follow through.
7. Start Mid Week
There’s already so much pressure on a Monday, being the beginning of a work week. Tasks from Friday afternoon as well as anything that accumulated over the weekend are all on your plate. Putting a new exercise routine on the back burner seems very tempting at that moment. Try starting your routine mid week, for instance on a Wednesday to avoid any risks of failure.
8. Find A Partner To Keep You Accountable
If accountability is a factor for you, having a friend or habit tracker will help you be more accountable. It’s harder to cancel on someone or something, other than yourself. You’re more likely to continue with your fitness routine if you have someone to do it with or a visual representation of how it looks as you’re working towards your goal.
9. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
Hydration and eating well are important for overall health and optimal exercise performance. Drink water before, during and after your workouts. Don’t forget to fuel your body for the added energy it will require to exercise.
Getting started again can be challenging but planning ahead, having fun and setting yourself up for success will allow you to remain consistent and be successful. With dedication and a positive mindset, you’ll soon find yourself back in the rhythm of regular exercises and reaping the countless benefits it brings to your life. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our passionate team members if you need guidance as you return back to a more active lifestyle.