So, you've fallen by the wayside with your exercise routine...it does happen...and it always seems to feel like you're back to square one after what may only be a short break. We've found that a two week break is enough to have you dreading the thought of getting back into your regular fitness routine. And so the best path is to get started.
Before you do just that, there are some things to think about...especially if you're trying to ease back into a workout routine after a prolonged break...with top of the list being avoiding injury. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you restart your fitness regime.
- Don't overdo it right away. It's good to set goals but don't try to jump straight back to the intensity of your workout before your break, especially after a long break. Better to start slow and build up, get used to the routine again before pushing it.
- Start with what you enjoy doing. Make sure your first session is enjoyable, it'll be easier to stick to the routine if it is. If you feel that one or two days a week is all you’re comfortable with initially then stick with it...as long as you start and maintain a routine, the rest will follow.
- Take your rest days. As we have said on these pages previously, your first few workouts may lead to muscle soreness and you'll need your rest to let your muscles recuperate so they can go again...so take the down days and go for a walk or a light intensity swim.
- Warm-up, cool down...and stretch. If you do a good warm up and cool down, the muscle soreness that you experience after a new workout will be minimized. Add in some dynamic stretching and you will have completed all that you can to ensure that the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) will be reduced as much as possible.
- Focus on your form and take it easy. Quality trumps quantity, especially after a prolonged break so slow down and focus on completing each exercise correctly.
- Don't skimp on sleep. Exercising, especially after a break, takes energy, and so initially you'll probably feel tired earlier at night. It is a great aid to more restful good quality sleep so embrace it and don't cut back...your body will thank you for it.