Ten tips for rejoining the active life
It’s okay, we are all in the same boat. It’s been a few months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. For many people it was harder than they thought to stay motivated to exercise during lockdown.
Now, the question is: how do you start again?
Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or in our case a few months off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on to the Gym wagon after you’ve fallen off.
Don’t overdo it right away.
Doing too much too soon can overwhelm you mentally and physically. Understand that you’re probably not going to be as fit as you were, and that’s OK. You can start with just 30 minutes a day, the goal is just to get moving more. People have a tendency to overdo it initially, and they end up [with 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. After a week or two, you can bump up the intensity, as long as you’re not losing form.
Begin with what works for you.
Do you only feel comfortable committing to a couple of days a week initially? Great! Mark it on your calendar 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, so just start”. 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. If you need help with setting an exercise plan, or really don’t know where to start, reach out to one of our Team Trainers for some advice.
Make sure your workouts include three key components.
When you’re getting back into fitness, your exercise plan should include components of cardiovascular endurance, resistance training, and flexibility. Combined, all three components will give you the most longevity with your goals. Remember to go at your own pace and listen to your body.
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.
Start your workout with a good warm-up and end with a good cool-down.
A good warm-up preps your body for the increase in activity and a cool-down allows your heart rate to return to a normal resting rate. Don’t cut corners here: Muscles that have not been accustomed to strenuous activity for sometime will experience some form of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which basically means you are going to be tight and achy for 24-72 hours after your workout (You may also experience this is you work out regularly but up your intensity.)
Make it Fun
If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. Luckily here at Strand Fitness we have so many different exercise options to choose from, such as group fitness classes, Functional Training, wellness options and even weight loss programs. You’re bound to find something that floats your boat.
Get a Gym Buddy
Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit. Ask us next time you’re in the Club about a “Session on Us” for a friend, so they can try it out and you never know they may love it and help keep you accountable.
What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. However exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. Why not take some time out for yourself, have a relax in a massage chair in The Haven or why not try a Yoga class. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
Don’t skimp on sleep.
Working out is ‘work’ – it takes more time and energy, so you might feel fatigued initially because you are burning more calories and the body is trying to adapt to the increased stresses in the tissues. Having a good sleep is also important for your bodies recovery. You may even find exercising actually improves your sleep. Listen to your body, if you’re feeling extra fatigue, have an early night, or treat yourself to a sleep in.
Set goals to keep you focused.
Goals are important to stay focused. People have many types of fitness goals, however it is important to that a goal is: measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.
What is your goal…to run a 5K?
To feel stronger?
Start there, then create a plan.
Remember, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed at times. Don’t get discouraged, you got this!