We get it – life can get a little crazy and we lose track of our health and fitness goals. It’s starts out easily enough, you let missing one or two workouts slide, which quickly snowballs into skipping whole weeks or months of training. Then you ask yourself, what happened to the regular exercise that goal I made? It happens to everyone, so don’t beat yourself up. We’re sharing 5 tricks for getting back to the gym after a break.
The likelihood is you have built up your return to exercise, making yourself believe going to be tough, a mountain that is waiting to be climbed and the longer you leave it, the bigger the mountain gets! And now, just the idea of exercise again is now hugely overwhelming.
To overcome that feeling, start your workouts with something easy, something is guaranteed to make you feel good, something you have enjoyed in the past and something that once you’ve completed it you will be encouraged to go and do again. Physical therapist Karena Wu says, “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.”
How do you plan your schedule when you get back to work after a break? Do you you plan your meetings, deadlines and projects and put them in a diary? Do the same for your exercise sessions. Treat them as a calendar date and plan the days and times you are going to get to the gym.
Take your planning one step further and plan the session you are going to do at the gym. Knowing exactly what you’re going to do will give you a goal for your workout and keep you on track - establishing a fitness plan also eliminates the danger of falling into an “I’ll do it tomorrow” thought pattern, getting you back on track after a break.
This may seem like a trivial trick but it can make a big difference to you skipping vs going to a training session. If you’re struggling to get up in the mornings to exercise, having your bag packed and ready to go means in the morning, you just need to get up and go!mo! Likewise, if you exercise after work. Having your bag packed and with you takes away the ‘get home and get ready for exercise’ part, eliminating the temptation to go home and stay at home.
Setting a fitness goal is a great short-term motivation to get back into exercise. Fitness goals help to: keep you on the right track give purpose to your training give you a reason to get to the gym help you see your progress For the best results, try to set a SMART goal – a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
This one is a social and fun trick for getting back to the gym! Training with a friend can be so much more fun than training on your own, you might learn a few new moves or be encouraged to try new exercises, it gives you a reason to show up to a gym session and you might even exercise harder too.
According to a Michigan State study, women who were told they had super-fit virtual sweat sisters simultaneously pedalled for nearly twice as long as those who believed they were working out alone. A few other tricks for getting back to the gym include signing up to a short challenge to give you an added reason to get to your training sessions, employing a personal trainer to get expert tips and tailored training programs for your goals or trying new classes so you can have a bit of fun with your exercise.