Tips for Returning to the Gym After a Break

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If you’ve taken a break from exercise, it can be a little overwhelming to think about how to get back into shape, but it’s absolutely doable! If you implement the right training program, you will be able to regain the strength and endurance you may have lost. Be patient with yourself and listen to your body. Pay attention to warning signals such as pain, tightness, or discomfort. Recovery is important to your overall health, so make sure you’re setting aside time to rest. When you’re ready to return to your exercise routine, there are some things to be mindful of in order to avoid injury and get the most out of your workouts. Keep reading for some tips on how to get back into a workout routine after taking some time off.

PLANNING

Before you begin any new workout routine, it’s important to write out your goals and then break them up into smaller, achievable tasks. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor to get the all-clear before you begin. Starting small is often the best route to take. Doing too much too soon can be overwhelming and disheartening. Keep it as simple as possible. You can even start with just 10 minutes a day!

MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

When you start working out after a break, you might not be as strong as you were before, and that’s okay! It’s important to check in with yourself about where you are right now, so you can set realistic goals that set you up for success. This mindset can help you stay motivated and on track.

SCHEDULE

When it comes to figuring out a workout routine, do what works for you. Maybe you start by working out one day a week. Mark it on your calendar and stick with it. Once you achieve this initial goal, you can work your way up to two, three, and four days a week. The most important things are consistency and having fun, so doing a workout you love will be helpful in maintaining a workout schedule.

EXERCISE SAFELY

The key to returning to exercise safely is to take small steps and frequently change up your routine. It can also be helpful to vary your workout intensity, frequency, and the type of workout you do. Incorporating a little bit of strength training can also be a helpful way to get back to exercising safely, as weakened muscles can lead to joint pain. Pay attention to your form and breathing. Take it slow and focus on how you’re performing the movements.

TIPS FOR STAYING MOTIVATED

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results from your new workout routine right away. It can take some time to get to where you want to be. You may be tempted to give up, but if you stick with it, it will get easier with time. Making exercise a habit and a routine can be a difficult first step, but once you do it, you will start to feel more motivated. To make exercise an enjoyable habit, it’s important to choose activities you like to do. Set goals that are specific, realistic, and attainable, then stick with that goal and keep at, it even if you can’t attain it right away. Once you attain your goal and sustain it, you can start to increase the challenge. After a week or two of being consistent with movement, things will start to feel better.

BE PATIENT

Give yourself permission to ease back into things and try to take some of the pressure off. Set yourself up for an easy win, which will help build self-confidence and motivation. Also keep in mind that recovery is part of well-rounded fitness routine and taking the time your body needs to reset and heal is an important part of long-term wellness.

JOIN A SUPPORTIVE FITNESS COMMUNITY

Everything feels easier when you have a great support system. You can recruit a friend or family member to work out with you, or you can join one of VASA’s supportive and fun group fitness classes! Remember it’s ok to feel overwhelmed at times. Don’t get discouraged—you got this! The most important thing to remember is to be patient with yourself and take it slow. Set realistic goals, stick with them, and you’ll be able to get back into a workout routine before you know it!

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