If you’ve fallen off the fitness track, don’t be dismayed. Getting back into a Workout Routine when you’ve taken time off is intimidating, so we’ve outlined a guide to help you ease in without losing motivation or risking injury.
There are some things to think about when you’re easing back into a workout routine. Whether you’ve been taking a break for the past couple of weeks, months, or even years.
You’re body will be well rested and there’s a bigger possibility for any potential injuries to have recovered.
Your level of progression is largely based on your total time off, the reason for the break, your level of fitness prior to it and your muscle memory.
We would advise returning to a workout program in a progressive manner. If you start off by placing too large of a demand on your body, you run the risk of injury and a quick regression backward. Being so sore the next day that you are hobbling down the stairs does not indicate a quality workout.
Furthermore, chances are this will make it harder to perform certain exercises, forcing a longer resting period between workouts.
Start Slow & Stretch
The “Triple S” principle is our pinnacle for getting back into training.
Your first progressive step forward should be to integrate flexibility workouts in your routine, in order to increase blood flow and circulation while assisting in range of motion and joint mobility.
Flexibility is one of the most overlooked protocols of fitness routines. Establishing these protocols early on will allow your body to properly readjust to the new demands that will be placed on it. Select 10 to 15 stretches, performing each flexibility movement for up to 1 minute.
Doing too much too soon can overwhelm you mentally as well as physically. A rigorous routine may eventually feel like too much to deal with, which in return make you feel defeated.
Understand and accept that you’re probably not going to be as fit as you were, and that’s OK. People have a tendency to overdo it initially which results in injuries, because the body is not prepared for the extra activity.
Low-intensity workouts are a good way to reintroduce the body to activity, frequency, and duration. Gradually bump up the intensity after a week or two, depending on your overall form.
What Works For You?
If you only feel comfortable committing to one day per week, initially thats absolutely fine.
Put it in your schedule and stick with it!
Don’t feel like you have to immediately start logging five to six gym workouts per week. You can’t get to three to four days a week without mastering day one. The most important thing is just getting started.
As you get comfortable, try to work your way up to four days a week. The body responds to consistency over time, so your results will come much faster if you can keep a regular pattern and frequency.
Furthermore, try incorporating light cardio workouts and a couple of stretching exercises. A brisk 20-minute outdoor walk will help invigorate your mind and get your body moving again. If you had a well-established fitness base prior to a month-long break, your first week may include light jogging as opposed to walking.
Start Strength Training
After the first week of flexibility and light cardio, you can start to incorporate strength workouts into your routine.
Your time away from fitness probably involved a lot of sitting, which causes weakness in your posterior chain. These muscles are important for basic everyday movement, as well as keeping your spine erect when at your desk. That is why, at this point one must look to incorporate exercises that improve posture, develop core strength, and activate muscles throughout your gluteus and hamstring regions.
If you are an experienced weight lifter, activating your muscle memory can help speed up the process.
Exercises like squats, lunges, bridges, TRX hamstring curls, stability ball mobility, and core work will help to activate these areas. TRX workouts and bodyweight workouts are ideal for working these muscles and create a safe transition back into your fitness regimen because you can work within your own fitness level.
Don’t forget to take those rest days!
Another reason not to jump into a six-days-a-week workout routine. Recovery is part of being active.
When you take a day off, your body isn’t. It’s actually working very hard to repair and replenish itself after all the work you put it through.
Rest days are key to long-term wellness. This is a lifestyle you’re creating now, so be realistic about your frequency. If you are reluctant to take a whole day of doing nothing, try incorporating stretching or yoga exercises to assist the recovery period. You’ll also feel significantly better the next day, which in turn will improve your performance in the gym.
When “getting back on it”, your mentality is equally important as your physique. If you’re unable to keep motivated and disciplined to your exercises, you’ll end up back on the sofa in no time.
Find a friend who is already working out and has a routine. That person can be a key motivator. If you’d rather share the starting line, find a friend who is also looking to get back into a regular routine. Together, you can keep each other motivated and accountable.
Set a personal goal for what you want to achieve. Make it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.
And last, but not least, keep the workout fun, enjoyable and varied. If the activity excites you, its significantly easier to get started. It’s more difficult to get motivated for an hour in the gym alone, than by playing tennis with a friend.
Most important of all, get started! It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get off the sofa and start moving!
you don’t have to go fast, you just have to go!
Stay Fit! 🙂