How to return to exercise after a break!
So, you’ve had a fabulous Christmas and New Year! You’ve let your whole fitness regime/routine go by the by and now you’re thinking……… ‘oh my’! Time to get back on the wagon, so to speak! So how should you do it???
How to ease back on track in the most effective manner possible? For starters;
Take a deep breath
Don't beat yourself up for falling off the wagon, it happens, that is why it is called a fitness journey and you are not alone.
In my experience, it is always counterproductive to beat ourselves up. We’re hard on ourselves for not meeting our own expectations and at times we get embarrassed which in many cases prevents us from returning promptly, consequently increasing the amount of "damage".
Your mental state is the first to start. The story you tell yourself will affect the tone of your return to exercise.
My suggestion is to ‘own it’, remember we all have choices, we chose to do what we did over the holiday period, remember all the lovely, positive things we did, remember the phrase ‘a change is as good as a rest’ and maybe we needed that rest.
If so, chances are we’ll return to fitness with a renewed vigour!
Be positive, think positive, talk to yourself in a positive manner!
Get yourself a plan
Like a business plan.
Acknowledge why you fell off in the first place. As above, own those reasons, safe in the knowledge that a holiday period may not arise again for a few months! So you have plenty of time to resume your training.
Adjust fitness goals
Just like your "business plan", your fitness goals need adjusting. I would not suggest jumping straight back into classes or the gym, or your training and expect to lift the same, sprint the same or be as flexible as you were prior to your break! Be specific with your fitness goals, as specific as you can. Take some time to sit and think about what you’d like to achieve and why you’d like to achieve those things. What do you gain from achieving ‘xyz’? Above and beyond lifting ‘x’ kg more for example. How will that make you feel? How will you look? What will be the knock on affect on your life? Bit deep maybe, but connecting with your goals at this level will motivate you to reengage and stick with your plan!
You may have to scale back the intensity or duration of your workout as you re start your fitness journey, in fact I would advise you do so.
It is normal to feel eager and energized to jump back in and pick up where you left off, but it is not the smart way to do it, you’ll need to listen to your body and start again gently in order to keep going again for the long term!