How to Return to Exercise After Taking a Break

Life sometimes interrupts your fitness passion, regardless of how committed you attempt to be. Some of the most common reasons this happen include moving, changing circumstances, and health issues. After life settles down again, it can be challenging to get back into a routine. This is because doing so feels so emotionally daunting. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get yourself back into a routine, both mentally and physically.

Set Reasonable Expectations

You shouldn’t expect yourself to instantly hit your previous fitness level. Having these expectations are bad for your body and morale. It can also cause injury. This is why you should start at a lower level than you were used to – one that you feel is manageable. Doing so will help you not feel so overwhelmed. From there you can slowly and consistently ramp things up over the course of a few weeks and before you know it, you’ll be back at, or beyond, your previous performance level. Just remember that setbacks don’t mean you have to give up on exercising.

Go Slow

You don’t have to do the same fitness routine you did in the past. This is especially important to understand if it was high intensity. Just by doing some exercising or getting up and going to the gym, you’ve hit a great “restarting point.” Once this has become a habit for you again, you can create some more challenging goals for yourself. However, it’s important to cut yourself a break in the beginning. This is when you’ll need a goal that’s completely within your control (e.g. working out a set number of times each week regardless of what type of exercising you do). Regardless of what your new goal is, make sure it starts with stretching and includes weightlifting or bodyweight strengthening exercises. Remember, the fact that you’re doing these things is more important than how fast you’re doing them.

Remember why you Enjoy Exercising

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when you start working out again has to do with the pain (e.g. burning muscles, feeling breathless, being sore). However, you need to focus on how good it feels overall. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful though. In fact, the pain you’ll experience afterwards should be an even better reason for you to be careful and engage in what’s known as “progressive overload” – gradually challenging your body to change.

While a fitness regime is definitely going to be harder than not exercising, your goals are only effective when they’re manageable so you don’t find yourself always trying to avoid them. By going too hard too soon you may either stop working out or you could possibly injure yourself again. However, when you set small goals, you can then move on to something that’s a bit bigger and more challenging. For instance, if you were to try to successfully lift an additional 5lbs each week, you may not think you’re doing much, but by the end of the year you’ll notice a huge difference.

Keep Trying

Getting active again is easier than getting started initially. This is because your brain has already coded the movement pattern that’s necessary to be successful in the activities you’ve chosen to do and they’re stored for later – kind of like how you never need to re-learn how to ride a bike. While it may take you a few sessions to get back into your fitness routine, you can quickly return to your previous level of proficiency. Nevertheless, if you still feel like you could use some help here, contact Fitness 360. Over the years, we’ve helped many people make their comeback. We look forward to helping you too.

Picture Credit: Nicole De Khors