Returning to exercise can be challenging, especially after a long break. But with the right mindset and motivation, it doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is, many people struggle with knowing how to get back to exercising and may not know where to start. The key is to set your goals straight, start small, and build your progress. Even if you can only commit to a few minutes of exercise each day, that can still be beneficial.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to getting back into exercise, we’ve got you covered with some tips below. With perseverance, effort and dedication, you can return to exercise.
find the motivation
Finding your motivation can have a significant impact on getting back to your regular exercise routine. Asking yourself why you want to exercise again can help you find your motivation. It could be to improve your health, feel better, look better, get stronger and build muscle mass, or have more energy. Knowing why will help keep you motivated and on track when things start to get challenging again.
When it comes to starting your fitness routine again, setting goals can be a helpful way to stay motivated. Start by identifying what you want to achieve by exercising again. Whether your goal is to build muscle, improve strength and stamina, or simply stay active, having a clear goal in mind can help guide you throughout your journey.
Once you’ve identified your goal, break it down into smaller, achievable goals. For example, if your overall goal is to build muscle, you can set specific goals for how many days a week you want to exercise and what types of exercises you will do. When you set goals for yourself, make sure they are realistic and achievable so you don’t get discouraged.
In addition to short-term goals, think about what you want to achieve in the long term. While it’s important to focus on small successes, it can also help to keep the big picture in mind.
Create a training plan
Now that you’ve set your goals and found your motivation, you can now create a weekly training plan. Having a plan in place allows you to stay focused and helps you stay motivated.
Your plan should incorporate exercises that help you achieve your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, you can divide your week into cardio days and light strength training days. If the reason for going back to the gym is to build muscle mass and strength, you can break up your days by working on different muscle groups and different strength training exercises. If in doubt, you can include a combination of cardio and strength training.
Remember that since you’re starting your routine again, be sure to keep it simple and stick to low-impact activities as you go. Low-impact activities can include walking, bicycling, swimming, or yoga. If your goal is to build and strengthen your muscles, you can start by doing bodyweight exercises and slowly incorporate weights into your exercises as you go. Don’t be afraid to make changes if necessary. Listen to your body and adjust as necessary to avoid injury.
take it easy
When getting back into an exercise routine, it’s important to start out slow and steady. When you’ve been out of practice for a while, your muscles need time to adjust to the movements and intensity you’ll be doing. Incorporating low intensity exercise or beginner workouts can be a great way to start. Remember to take it easy and focus on proper form, especially when it comes to weight lifting exercises. Doing too much too fast can cause muscle soreness, strain, and injury.
It’s also important to give your body time to rest between workouts. Taking a day off after exercising will help your muscles recover before exercising again. This will also give you a chance to assess how your body is feeling and make adjustments as necessary. With patience and dedication, you can slowly progress to higher intensity workouts and start to see results.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
Another way to get back into exercise is to make physical activity part of your daily routine. You don’t have to jump right into a full exercise routine. The key, as always, is to start small and build. Start by setting aside just a few minutes each day to do something active, even if it’s just a brisk walk or jog.
Try to be consistent with your routine. Make sure you are active several times a week. Having a schedule that you stick to can also help you stay motivated, accountable, and on track.
Don’t forget to stretch and rest
As you get active again, remember to stretch before and after any physical activity and rest when your body tells you to. Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine because it helps prevent injury, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle soreness. By stretching before a workout, you are helping to prepare your muscles for activity and improve your range of motion. After your workout, static stretching can help reduce muscle tension and restore normal length to your muscles.
When stretching, be sure to hold each stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds and focus on slow, controlled movements. Take deep breaths as you go through each stretch and hold for the duration of the stretch. Also, be sure to stretch both sides evenly, and don’t forget to pay attention to your neck, shoulders, hips, and back.
Rest is another important part of any exercise routine and should not be overlooked. Rest days give your body and muscles a chance to recover from your session and help prevent injury. Allowing your body to rest can help reduce muscle soreness, build strength, and increase performance. On rest days, you can take time to stretch slightly and give your body a break from intense workouts. Yoga, meditation, or just taking a walk are great ways to relax and recharge.
return to exercise
Exercising again, whether after an injury or a period of inactivity, can be challenging and can leave you unmotivated and overwhelmed. The goal is to start slow and steady and establish a clear plan of what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Don’t forget to reward yourself for reaching your goal! Recognize your progress and the hard work you put in to help keep you on track. Give yourself a pat on the back once in a while for all your hard work!
If you need help getting back on the road, we’ve got you covered at Chuze Fitness. Whether it’s to find a personal trainer or join fitness classes, there are many ways to make the trip enjoyable. Find a location near you and get started today.
Ani is the vice president of fitness at Chuze Fitness, overseeing the group fitness and team training departments. She has had a career spanning over 25 years in club management, personal training, group exercises, and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and she loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.