Regular exercise is about a strong commitment. However, sometimes even the fittest people get off track simply because of life circumstances. Family holidays, sickness, adjusting to a new job, shifting cities, marriage, or exams can throw you off your regular regime. Getting off a good workout routine can be very despairing. It can leave you feeling disappointed and guilt-ridden. You might have put on some weight, your muscles may not be as pumped as they used to be, and you lack energy. What is worse? Lack of motivation to get back on that yoga mat or step on that treadmill in your gym.
How To Start Exercising Again After a Long Break: Tips
No matter what kind of workout routine you undertaken, there are a few things to consider when getting back to the gym, yoga classes or Zumba sessions after a break. It is important to consider how long you have been away from your workout routine. Was it just a few days, a couple of weeks, months, or even a year? This is important because you don’t want to injure yourself and must give your body time to adjust back into the routine. If it was just a few days, you have not lost much of your strength. However, if it was a few months to even a year, there will be some amount of cardio fitness and strength that you have lost. The best part is that you can regain all of that in no time. Before you strategize your comeback plan, it is important to understand that if you skipped the routine because of an injury then you must address all the issues related to it and meet your doctor before starting to workout again.
1. Start With Something Easy
If you are struggling to get back into exercise routine and finding it challenging, it is suggested to just start with something easy, that does not require too much of your strength and power. You can choose your favorite exercise or start by simply going for a walk. At the gym, you can start with a treadmill walk. In your yoga club, you can start with simple pranayama exercises. Just pick what makes you feel good and go easy. This will keep you committed to your routine that will motivate you to continue and go back to your healthy habits.
2. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Doing too much too soon can be overpowering for your mind and body, both. Since you are trying to get back to your workout routine after a long break, it is important to prepare yourself mentally and physically by doing a little. Unfortunately, people tend to overdo it in the beginning and exhaust their body completely. Your body is not ready for a rigorous routine. Low-intensity workouts are a great way to restart and reintroduce the body to the workout routine.
3. Start With Flexibility Exercises
With the break that you took, your joints are not used to such movements anymore and it is important to regain the range of motion before you advance to challenging workouts. Therefore, it is suggested to start with flexibility workouts that will increase the blood flow, improve range of motion, and joint mobility. Beginner’s yoga is a great way to practice flexibility movements and start working out again.
4. Perform Easy Cardio Workout
The best way to easing back into working out again is including light cardiovascular exercise to get your body moving and revive your stamina. You can find yourself time to go for a brisk walk or cycle in your gym. Then, gradually shift to light jogging and running.
5. Include Strength Training
After a week into light cardio and flexibility training, you can start including strength exercises. Be gentle to your body, do not push too hard. Strength training workouts will help you stimulate and develop strength in your muscles, core and other important parts of the body. Begin with fundamental movements like squats, lunges, bridges, and core workouts to revive your muscle strength. This will ensure a safe transition back into your fitness regime.
6. Speak to your Trainer
It is important to consult your trainer as you get back into your workout routine. Ask them to guide you at every step of the way and help you design your new comeback plan. With their guidance, things will get easier and you will be able to move past the challenging transition phase.
7. Allow Your Body To Rest And Recover
At this point, you must avoid getting into a rigorous workout routine. That increases the chances of injury and fall. Therefore, allow your body to adjust and let it rest and recover between workout days. Taking a day off between two sessions will let your body replenish and prepare itself for the next workout you put it through. Rest days are as important as training days for long-term results.
8. Commit To Starting Your Routine With A Warm-Up
Another thing that is very important to a workout routine is a dedicated warm-up. A good warm-up session prepares the body for the workout. It gradually increases your heart rate and circulation. This allows your joints and muscles to loosen up and increase blood flow in the body. This is very important to prevent injury and maintain balance in muscles and joints during the movements.
9. Don’t Forget To Cool-Down
Cooldown is as important as a warmup. This is because it allows your body to return to normal heart rate and breathing. It helps the person to avoid fainting or dizziness due to an increase in blood flow levels. Moreover, you must have noticed the muscle soreness after your workout session. This is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This causes a bit of discomfort and makes your muscles tight and sore. It takes at least 24-72 hours to go away. A good cool down session helps in reducing muscle soreness tremendously.
10. Stretches Are Important
When you are getting back to your fitness routine, stretching exercises are incredibly important. Experts suggest including a few dynamic stretches in your warmup and cool down session. The stretches you perform will depend on your workout in the gym or your fitness club. If you have worked on your legs standing hamstring stretch will be very effective. Triceps stretch, figure four stretch, 90/90 stretch, butterfly stretch, shoulder squeeze, and side-bend stretch are some commonly practiced stretching exercises that can reduce soreness and tightness in your muscles.
11. Listen To Your Body
If you have been away from your fitness routine or getting back to the gym after a long break, it is important that you pay close attention to your body. If injury was your reason to skip your daily fitness routine, then you must be sure that there is no pain or muscle soreness. If some movements cause immense pain or discomfort, you must immediately stop doing that. Getting back to your daily fitness routine might be challenging, especially in the lack of motivation. So, do not be too hard on yourself. Don’t push your body to an extent of complete exhaustion. Always remember to take it easy and slow. Your body needs time to adjust and transition.
12. Take Proper Sleep
The most important thing to make the best out of any fitness routine is proper sleep. Good sleep allows your body to rest and repair properly. Believe it or not, it helps muscle tissue grow. This is why bodybuilders also take time out to let their body recover and grow. Also, if you are not getting 7-8 hours of sleep, you may not even be able to give your best during your workout session. It will hamper your performance and results. Therefore, it is essential to take good sleep, it will help restore energy and replenish your body.
13. Find motivation
Motivation is vital to maintain a fitness routine. When it comes to exercising, staying fit and healthy, and meeting your fitness goals, it is important to stay motivated. A good professional trainer will constantly keep their clients motivated. You can also find yourself a workout buddy. Together, you can motivate each other to start working out again. They will be extremely helpful in making you push through that extra mile or sets. Together, you can set new goals and achieve milestones easily.
14. Provide Good Nutrition To Your Body
The food we eat plays an important role in how we look and feel. It provides fuel and energy to workout. Depriving yourself of essential nutrients will do no good. It will leave you exhausted and fatigued even before you realize it and hinder your practice in the gym. Additionally, eating right reduces our risk of illnesses, help lose body fat, and make us look more confident. Therefore, your food must be a well-balanced portion of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and other essential micronutrients and minerals. It will increase your body’s metabolism and help you burn more fat. Not only the right type of foods is important for your body but eating it at the right time is also equally important. Erratic timings can lead to several health problems. You must learn about the importance of healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, pre-workout and post-workout meals.
Starting To Workout Again? Here is What You Should Do
Now that you know how to ease back in working out again, you must go easy on your body.
- Bodyweight exercises: When it comes to getting back to exercise routine, you can choose simple bodyweight exercises that will help your muscles regain flexibility and range of motion. Keep it short and simple.
- Free weights: After a few days of reintroducing your body to a fitness routine, you can perform your free weights squats, chin-ups, overhead press, deadlifts. But be sure to keep it light. Do not carry unnecessary weight that causes soreness and sabotage your upcoming workout sessions.
- Working out with Gym machines: Gym machines are easily adjustable to various fitness levels. Start at a beginner’s level.
- Cardio: Take it easy and perform 15 -20 minutes of running, cycling, brisk walking or elliptical.
- Yoga: Basic yoga workouts will ease you into working out again. It will provide your body with flexibility, strength, and stamina that it needs to get back to your previous fitness levels.
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to getting back to working out again. Choose the one that is best for you. With consistency and dedication, you will be back to your previous fitness levels in no time. Remember that going slow is better than injuring yourself.
Disclaimer: All exercise should be done under the supervision of certified professionals. If any medical condition exists, please do seek the advice of the physician to proceed with this exercise.