How to get back to an exercise routine after some time off
Haven't been to the gym for awhile? Was it due to illness that you stopped? Or something else? Busy lives can easily result in missing time at the gym or not going at all. I recently was sick and couldn't work out for a week. I definitely felt the difference when I was finally able to get back to the gym. It was hard to get up in the morning to get to the gym before work. Plus, it was hard to get back into the routine of cardio and weights.
But I did it! I started slow and didn't push myself to get back into the full routine I had before I was sick. After all, I didn't want to relapse and get sick again. But what if you stopped going to the gym because you've become unmotivated or it is just too hard to manage it with your schedule? How do you get back into the routine after some time off?
First, before getting back to an exercise routine, make sure to check with your doctor. I am not a doctor and cannot advise you on if it is safe for you to start exercising again. Especially if you've had a serious illness or injury. Now that I've said that, here are four ways to get back into the routine.
As I mentioned, start easy! If it has been awhile since you've been to the gym, don't try to do a lot all at once. This will be a sure-fire way for you to stop going to the gym again. Building endurance and strength takes time. It takes at least 8 weeks to build muscle! Before I actually went to the gym, I started at home by doing yoga classes on You Tube. There are great 15 minute free classes that you can take routinely.
If yoga isn't part of your routine, then start by taking a 15 minute walk, every day. This can easily be done during a lunch break or after dinner. Who knows, maybe you'll get others in the family to take a walk with you. Once you feel like you've started to build a routine, go to the gym. All you have to do is continue walking on the treadmill and increase the time or incline or both. You'll be amazed how easy it is to take a simple task like walking and take it to the gym.
Schedule time to go to the gym. Maybe take a class at a specific time a couple of times a week. Maybe put a time in your calendar that you are going to go to the gym. If I put something in my schedule or on my to-do list, I am more likely to actual do what I scheduled.The point here is to make the time. I know it is hard after an extended time away from the gym but you don't have to go everyday. You can go three times a week. That is plenty to get you back into a routine. Plus, one of those days could be Saturday. It doesn't have to be during the week.
Find something you really like doing. Do you like riding a bike? Do you like Zumba? Do you like circuit training? Do you like group classes? By finding an exercise that you really enjoy doing, you are going to stick with it and even may look forward to taking it. Realize that the time you invest in yourself and your health makes you an even better spouse, father, mother, significant other because you are taking care of yourself. You can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.
Tell your social network your health or exercise goals. Better yet, ask others to join you. There is strength in numbers. By telling people what your goals are, they are going to ask you about how you are doing and you will be accountable. In the world of social sharing, there will be a sense of accomplishment as you tell your network your progress. Plus, you will see visible results over time. If others join you, then you can have discussions about what workouts you did and share tips. Finally, write down the reasons why you want to be healthy or why you want to exercise. Keep the list handy. It will keep you motivated when you may need it the most!
Ultimately, regular exercise is a necessary activity for life. Studies show that exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for disease, but it can help you improve your mood and mental health. (Source: CDC). So slowly get back into an exercise routine to help take care of your mind, body and soul. If you are slowly getting back into the routine, let me know what is (and is not) working for you. If you want more free health tips and healthy recipes, follow my blog on Bloglovin.