How to get back into a fitness routine after a break is exactly what I asked myself a month ago. Indeed, I felt compelled to write this post as I recently had to take a 3-month break from my fitness routine upon recently becoming a part-time blogger.
Though I am enjoying the extra fun that comes with blogging, I knew that this break had to end because not exercising didn't feel right and I was lacking the energy it usually gives me. I also would prefer to tackle week-ends adventures while in better shape.
Because I knew that my blogging adventures & learning process are far from over, I therefore felt that my health and level fitness needed to stop being on the back burner. I needed to find the motivation and create a new BALANCE in my life to include my fitness regime.
So, if you need a few tips to jump on the bandwagon and get back into shape, please see some SUGGESTIONS below.
Remember Why You Enjoy Being Fit
- It makes you feel good. Thanks to the “Happy chemicals” which are released when you exercise (Dopamine, Endorphins, etc.). Also, your Physical appearance greatly depends on your lifestyle (Nutrition & Exercising)
- Exercising is a Great Stress Reliever (see my earlier post on that here, if you missed it).
Remember what would happen if you don’t exercise regularly
- Weight Gain is a given, in most cases.
- Mandatory Shopping. Obviously you won’t fit in your current clothes. You’ll need larger ones if you don’t get back on the right track quickly enough.
- Increasing the risks of having Health issues/Illnesses*.
- Increase in Medical expenses (doctor/hospital visits, tests, medications, etc.)
*PS: Did you know that there has been a drastic increase in strokes for people in the mid 30's to late 40's age group? According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, Obesity & Diabetes seem to be some of the causes for said increase.
Between 2000 & 2010, 43.8% of hospitalizations concerned people between the ages of 25 and 44.
In the year 2000 only, about 5.9 million people suffered a stroke-related deaths in the world (Read more here).
Now that's just a glimpse of the many awful stats out there.
Are you motivated yet?
Find Your Motivation & ACT
Everyone deal with issues and changes differently. You simply need to find ways to get yourself back on track AND in ways that would work for you. Here are a few ideas that might help you out:
- Think about the consequences mentioned above if you do nothing.
- Read inspirational quotes daily/regularly
- Take a look at yourself in the mirror, Naked. (Yea you read right)
- Find a buddy or a group to exercise with.
- Hire a Personal fitness coach.
- Sign up with a gym, yoga studio, tennis class, zumba class, swimming pool, etc.
- Buy fitness equipment to use at home. Only if you think you'll use them.
- Create a music playlist to take you through your fitness routine, if needed.
- Choose your activity wisely. You will never stick to a fitness routine, on the long term if you don’t enjoy it.
- Exercise routine doesn’t mean 1 type of activity. Giving your routine a variety of exercises will make it more enjoyable and easy to do over time. Find a combination of what makes you both fit and happy. Even if that means including some dancing!
Set Up Fitness Goals
- Reach a certain body weight (e.g., an ideal BMI, loosing 5lbs, etc.)
- Target a particular muscle definition (e.g., 6-pack abs, defined biceps, etc.)
- Reach a certain distance (e.g., 2 miles, 5K, 10K, etc.)
- Use a fitness tracking device, if necessary
- Make a plan to reach this goals. Schedule activities in your Agenda. Set up Alarms, Reminders, etc., as needed.
PS: You don't have to start with big goals. Nothing is wrong with starting with small goals.
Give Yourself a Deadline
- Give yourself a realistic deadline to reach your goals.
- Write the days & time you would be dedicating to fitness
- When you achieve your goal(s), define others and set new deadlines.
- Repeat this step over and over. Exercising shouldn’t be seasonal but part of your lifestyle/habits.
Pace Yourself & Be Safe
- Ease your way into exercising. No need to have the “Go Big or Go Home” mentality here. Don’t try to do the routine you used to do before your break. Do less, then increase your workout over time. Otherwise you increase chances of getting injured.
- Give your muscles appropriate time to rest. Do not exercise daily during the first two weeks, at least.
- Ensure you adapt your nutrition now that you resumed exercising regularly.
As for me, it wasn’t easy figuring out how to go about getting back a regular fitness routine. However I knew my body was missing the exercise, and also kept thinking about the consequences if I didn't resume.
For extra motivation, I signed up for a 5K Race! I know some of you might think it’s a rather drastic step, but I couldn’t think of anything else. I also felt for a challenge. This way, I would be more encouraged to exercise on rainy days (I exercise out in the open).
The 5K race was scheduled 1 month after I signed up for it and since it was a charity event against Breast Cancer, it was an extra special opportunity for me to do it.
Now, it’s true that I never took part in any race before. I’m also not a fan of running, but prefer jogging. However, I did believe that I had enough time.
My only goal was to jog my way through the entire 5K Course until the finish line and without feeling like I was dying. I also wanted to avoid diving on the finish line and then pass out, lol! Hhmm... someone is watching too many funny videos, lol!!
Mission accomplished!! I jogged 98% of the 5K Course and after a brief 10-minute walk & stretching session, I felt like myself again. No Ambulance needed! Pphheeww!!
Because it feels so good to be regularly exercising again, I doubt I will be taking a break anytime soon.
CONCLUSION: DITCH THE EXCUSES!!
Life will always throw new things at you that would require some adjustments to your usual schedule. However, it would be (more than) a pity if whatever new changes come into your life cause your health to take a back seat.
There is nothing wrong for taking a break every now and then though. What is important is that the break is not too lengthy and that it actually ends.
It would definitely be easier to loose 10lbs than 50lbs, right?
Also, exercising can easily be inexpensive. Many workouts involve little to no equipment/cost. Those are readily available online & for free.
In general, you might not need more than Willpower and maybe a pair of sneakers or goggles!
I hope this post will encourage those who need to get back in shape to ACT.... sooner rather than later.
I wish you all the best in your journey to HEALTHY LIVING.