If there is one thing that’s affected many of us in the last few months, it’s taking a break from our usual exercise regime. Perhaps you’re looking to start a new routine? Maybe you want to pick back up where you left off? Whatever the case, here’s how to safely ease into exercise after an extended break.
Think about your expectations
Taking an extended break from exercise means we usually won’t start by performing at the same level we were at before – and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than expected that our bodies will need a little time to work back up to the level we enjoyed before our break, and is something that many of us should consider before we get back at it. It’s normal for people to get frustrated that they can’t perform at the same standards. However, learning how to start on a fresh page and not compare yourself to your past is a great place to start.
Learn how to ease into exercise
Starting anything from scratch is always tough. Thankfully, there’s a good chance we were active at one point in our lives, meaning we should know what to expect when we get back to it. Our bodies don’t typically respond well to the same movements with no change, meaning switching out our routines and taking little steps toward the end goal are great ways to ease into exercise after an extended break. If you find yourself pushing too hard or your body starts to resist, then it could be time to slow things down and take a small break to recover.
Try to stay motivated
Staying motivated is usually easier said than done. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Try not to think about what you want to instantly see from your workout routine and instead focus on the future and how things should progress over time. Another great way to stay motivated, especially when you’re easing back into exercise after an extended break, is to find workouts that you enjoy. Love dancing? Why not try a dance class? Hate hours on the cardio machines? Something in the weights section or an alternative workout might be better suited.
Set realistic goals
When learning how to safely ease into exercise after some time away, think about what you want to see. Losing weight and getting fitter are great goals, but they can seem overwhelming when you’re still on page one. Instead, think about the smaller goals you want to achieve along the way. This could be running for 10 seconds longer on your run or lifting a few pounds more at the gym. Not only can they help us feel a sense of achievement along the way, but they can help us stay motivated to keep to our routine too.
Learning how to safely ease into exercise after an extended break doesn’t have to be as daunting or off-putting as it seems on paper. In fact, it might not be long before it feels as though we were never away.