How to Exercise Again after a Long Break
Maybe you’ve had an injury, given birth, changed jobs, or had to move. Regardless of the reason, the fact of the matter is that it’s been weeks or months since you’ve moved your body more than the bare minimum. And every time you try to get back into a regular exercise routine it’s harder and harder. Why? Maybe you feel like you’re weaker than you were before, you get tired more easily, or you can hardly bend or stretch your legs.
All of the above may be true, but at some point you have to bite the bullet and get back into your exercise routine. If you find yourself in a rut like what we’ve described, please keep reading today’s article! Learn how to start exercising again after a long break.
The first step is the most difficult
They say that the most important thing is to get through one week, and the first month is the hardest when it comes to going to the gym, playing sports, or fitness training. Whenever you have an accident, take on more work than before, have children, get married, start school, or winter comes, it becomes harder to stay in a good routine and you might take a break, hoping that someday the planets will align again and you’ll “know” when it’s time to return.
As we already said, the hardest part is deciding to start exercising again. That’s because when you spend some time (like a few months) away from the routine it’s going to seem like you were never in good shape to begin with, even though you may have been exercising for years.
But once you get back into the regular habit of exercise, it will again become almost an automatic task. The first week of “adapting” back to your routine is the most important one. And if you can get through one month of this, it will be more difficult for you to break it again.
To help you make those first steps, remember that getting exercise is synonymous with having good health. It not only helps you lose weight, but improves your heart rate and breathing, purifies the bloodstream, eliminates toxins, relieves stress, reduces anxiety, elevates your mood, makes you more flexible and strong, helps you sleep better at night, and more.
Tips to help you start exercising again
Check out the following tips that will help you get back into your exercise routine after a long time of “doing nothing.”
Start exercising for the right reasons
Everyone has a particular motive for exercising. You’re the only one who knows what yours is, and you need to set that as your clear objective before you can get started again.
Don’t try to jump back into the exact same routine you had before. If you were running a mile and a half a day, start by just running a few blocks. Be patient and don’t overexert yourself. By starting small, you’ll be able to increase your difficulty, length of time, or the amount of weight you can lift – and that will encourage you to continue to improve.
If you were at a very advanced level, for example, it won’t hurt you to start out as a beginner again, at least for a few days. In a month you’ll be back to the intermediate stage and you’ll be on target to reach the state you were in before.
It’s important to accept the fact that you’re not going to be fit and in great physical condition after months of avoiding exercise. While you will immediately enjoy the benefits of getting back into your routine, remember that it isn’t magic, and no miracles are going to happen. If you’ve gained weight or lost your stamina, understand that it’s simply a result of the long break – don’t let it upset you and tempt you to quit.
Make room for exercise in your schedule
Stop making the excuse that you don’t have time for exercise. If you organize your daily life well, you can work out two to three times a week for an hour each time. Think about the last routine you had. What days and times did you find to exercise? Would it be possible to do something similar now?
Mix it up
This will help you a lot in terms of motivation. Doing exercises that are fun and also make you feel good is double the benefits! It also helps you avoid getting bored and stopping your new activity. Try different exercises every day or each week. For example you could try walking on Mondays, lifting weights on Tuesdays, riding a bicycle on Wednesdays, and jogging on Thursdays or Fridays. This is a more complete routine that you’ll enjoy more.
Give your body plenty of rest
Take a break for a day after a heavy work. But only take one day (unless you worked out on Friday and want to return to the routine on Monday). And if you’re sick, don’t push yourself too hard to go to the gym. That’s not going to help you, or those who are around you. You can allow yourself to miss a workout, as long as it’s the exception rather than the rule.
Workout with a partner
Exercising alone is very different than with a partner. It could be a friend, a spouse, a sibling, or a work colleague. It’s a good idea to help motivate you and of course, have a good time. But remember that you’re there to exercise – not chat or go out to eat. You can always do that later!
Set realistic goals
Don’t try to do everything on the first day you return to your routine because it will be virtually impossible. The goals you set for yourself have to be ones that you can actually achieve. This way you’ll feel better about yourself and not get discouraged. Exercise should be something you enjoy – not torture.
Every time you fulfill a goal, give yourself some kind of reward. Something small! (Especially if we’re talking about food.) You could also go to the movies or buy a new outfit. This positive feedback will make you want to exercise more and continue to achieve your goals. Right now you need all the motivation you can get, so this little reward system is a great idea.