How To Get Back Into Working Out After Taking A Long Break

Photo: getty
How To Get Back Into Working Out After Taking A Long Break
Partner
Self

We all know the benefits of regular exercise, but what happens when you’ve fallen off the wagon?

It’s hard to develop an exercise routine, but it can be even harder to get back into the groove after a long break from frequent exercise.

But don’t lose hope, because here are six ways to get back into your fitness routine.

RELATED: 9 Ways To Stay Motivated To Work Out When You're Stuck At Home In Quarantine

1. Set smart goals.

Before starting exercise again, it’s important that you establish realistic goals. While your main goal may be to get fit, you’ll need to specify exactly what you want to achieve with your exercise regimen.

For instance, if your aim is to run a triathlon or half-marathon, set out an incremental training in advance to give yourself goals to work towards. When you set exercise goals, use the acronym “SMART” to measure the strength of your goals.

To be effective, your goals must be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Talk about a smart strategy!

2. Start off slowly.

Instead of throwing yourself into the deep end with unrealistic fitness expectations, slowly ease yourself back into an exercise routine.

For instance, if you like strength training, begin with a couple of full-body strength workouts each week, and give yourself at least one day in between sessions to recover. The last thing you want is to sustain an injury after a long hiatus from exercise, so know your body’s limits, and be sure to respect them.

3. Find an exercise buddy.

If you’ve been out of the fitness game for a while, your confidence may be at rock bottom when you decide to start up again.

To motivate you to work out, find a friend, family member, or colleague who’d like to work out with you. Having an exercise buddy can make workouts more fun, too, because you can chat and compare progress.

RELATED: 10 Reasons To Exercise That Improve Your Body And Mind — And Why It Has Nothing To Do With Your Physical Appearance

4. Take care of all aspects of your health.

In order to gain the most from your new exercise routine, it’s vital that you keep your mental and physical health in check. Whether you commit to following a balanced diet, staying hydrated, or getting enough sleep, work to set yourself up for success physically and mentally.

For instance, if you struggle to get enough sleep, you’ll likely feel sluggish, which can negatively impact your workouts. To get better sleep, find the best budget mattress to support your joints, and ensure that you wake up feeling alert and ready to exercise.

5. Speak with your doctor.

If getting back into exercise makes you feel nervous, you may want to speak with your doctor to ensure that you restart exercising in a way that benefits your health. 

Getting expert advice on whether you’re ready to start exercising again will put your mind at ease and give you the confidence that you need to work out.

Your doctor may even recommend techniques to ensure you don’t overextend yourself, so make an appointment today!

6. Stay active on your “rest days.”

While you may use post-workout soreness as a chance to relax and unwind, you’ll feel more motivated to tackle your next workout if you stay active on your rest days.

Whether you go for a walk around the neighborhood, try practicing yoga or meditation, or do some low-intensity exercises at home, staying active will speed up your recovery.

While many of us are dedicated to daily exercise, we often go through phases where we put our exercise regimen on the back burner.

If you’re ready to get back into exercise and aren’t sure where to start, try the suggestions above to gently ease yourself back in. It’ll all feel worth your time when you conquer your first workout!

RELATED: 20 Best At Home Gym Equipment To Stay Fit & Toned While Stuck Inside

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Unwritten is a website covering health and wellness, mental health, and self-care. For more of their health and wellness content, visit their site.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.