Many people are itching to get out of the house and back into the gyms. But, whether or not one should start back where they left is a complicated answer. If you, like others, have been away from your exercise routine for quite some time and want to return, you might be tempted to pick up that heavy weight that you left off with. Doing this could lead to potential injury or cause you to get so sore that you regret ever stepping foot into the gym. Here’s how you can be smart about your celebratory return.
Set Realistic Goals
It is a good idea to set goals for yourself so you can measure your progress and achieve noticeable results. Goals you set for yourself should always be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a Time frame. Don’t look for a magic pill at the end of about 30 days, because you won’t find it; it doesn’t exist. You have to be persistent and understand that what may have worked in the past may not work now. Also, you want to make sure your goals aren’t too hard or too easy – it should mark an authentic change but be realistically achievable. Figure out what your ultimate goal is and write it down somewhere. Again, set target goals along the way that will help you reach the ultimate goal.
We all want results that happen quickly but change that happens fast is not always sustainable or healthy.
Start Slow, there is no need to rush! Rushing into things can lead to injury and possibly setting yourself back even more. It is best to start back exercising at a slightly less intense pace than you did when you first left off. With time you will be able to gradually increase the intensity with every workout. It never hurts to start slowly and build your muscles back up gradually. This gives your body time to re-adapt to training. If you have to, train like a beginner, although your progress will probably be much faster. At The8Block we have a session called ‘Tone & Fit’, which provides our clients with low intensity workouts. This is great for people who are looking to gradually get back into fitness, are new to fitness or who have prior injuries. In this session, we focus on slow muscle burn while also getting the heart rate up. This is a great group to start with and work your way up to our high intensity Savage Class. With patience, a positive attitude and consistency, you will be back to your usual routine.
Listen to Your Body
What we don’t want to do is lift heavy right away. Especially after a long break, you need to let your body accumulate training volume before jumping directly into heavy lifting. Sure, you may have been able to lift a substantial amount of weight before but during that time you may not have been missing training days due to gym closure. Do yourself a favor- especially if you have already had prior injuries related to working out, Pay Attention. If you decide to push yourself too hard, you put yourself at a serious risk of re-injuring yourself. While decreasing your risk for injury is important, eating well is also necessary. Food is what fuels your workouts which means, its time to clean up your diet. You need to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains to get your body energized. You can get nutrition tips by clicking here and reading the nutrition blogs.
Grab a Buddy
Find a friend that is already working out and has a routine. This person can help be a key motivator for your success. Research has shown that working out with someone is one of the best ways to keep you accountable and work harder. When you work out with someone believe it or not your competitiveness comes out which makes you push yourself. You can also find a friend who likewise wants to get into a routine. Using the buddy system can be a way for you to connect with friends, try new classes and have fun while working out. Recruit a friend with a similar schedule and keep each other accountable.
Getting back started is sometimes the hardest part, whether it be lack of motivation or knowing where to start. Along with these important steps, it is probably a good idea to get yourself a fitness coach who will be able to guide you in the right direction. He or she can help create a workout plan based on your goals and also provide you with modifications for your needs. We have great coaches at The8Block Fitness Studio who are ready to help you get back on track with your fitness goals. Contact us at (717)220-5588 for 50% off your first session, we look forward to working with you!