How to Get Back to Fitness After Taking Time Off

It's harder as we get older. Tips to getting back to fitness.

What are your excuses?  What keeps you away from working on your fitness?

“I don’t have time.
I’d rather be sleeping.
It’s too cold outside.
I’m always tired.
My dog ate my workout…”

Or you may be thinking,

Who needs exercise when I run back and forth between the vending machine and my desk at work.

Ha!

Hopefully these aren’t ALL your excuses, but truth is that it can be hard to get back to fitness when you’ve taken time off from working out.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like you’ll never get back on that horse, but as you start taking steps in the right direction to getting your strength and physical energy back, you’ll soon see that it’s not as hard as you think.

Here are six simple ways you can ease back into your workout routine:

Change your attitude, dude . . . (or dudette)

Need an attitude adjustment?

As you start with small, simple workouts, your attitude will automatically shift to a happier, brighter you!

That’s because moving and workin’ on your fitness releases endorphins to your brain to help you have a more positive attitude.

You will find a spring in your step and feel AWE-some for completing your goal to work out – even if it’s just for 20 minutes starting out.

 

Do what you love

And, love what you do.

Love to dance?  Turn up the music and jam out.

Enjoy being in nature?  Take a nature hike and choose trails with different intensities.

Getting back to fitness doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym going around in circles on the elliptical.  Find ways to get in some cardio and movement with activities that you love.

 

Don’t beat yourself up

Working out too hard, too fast could cause you to give up too quickly.  If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing and can barely move due to crazy sore muscles, you should back off and ease into it.  This also makes you more prone to injuries.

So, be kind to yourself.  Start simple with that activity that you love.

Also, take advantage of the endless number of free workouts on YouTube to ease back in.

A personal favorite is fitnessblender.com, which is no fluff, just fitness – it’s kind of like your own in-home personal trainer.

 

You need a game plan

You don’t need to map out a full month.  Just create a plan for the next week.

By focusing on shorter increments of time, you will stay focused on your goals.  Having an ultimate goal to run up a mountain or enter a triathlon are great goals, but you need to see the steps to get there.

Your week plan can include rotating between cardio and strength training while also focusing on stretching or yoga.

Again, your cardio doesn’t require a treadmill but can be done with other get-up-and-move activities.

Also, decide if you want to get up early or work out later in the day.  What time do you feel your best to work out?  Schedule this precious time into your day so you don’t skip over it.

 

You may be stronger than you think

If strength training was consistently a part of your fitness routine before you stopped working out, you may still have a good portion of the strength you previously gained.

That’s right.  Strength training pays off big time, baby!

Strength training gains can be almost fully retained for two weeks.  And, 88 to 93 percent of strength training gains can last for up to 12 weeks of inactivity.

Ease back into it and see how you do!  Your strength may come back relatively faster than you thought possible.

Let it go

Finally, don’t get down on yourself when you can’t jump over buildings or outrace a moving car right away . . . or ever.  Be patient with yourself and understand that getting back to fitness after being away for a while does have limitations starting out.

Instead, focus on the future:

  • What can you do to improve your strength overall?
  • What activities make you happy to work out?
  • How do you plan to get stronger in the coming weeks?

 

You’re gonna rock it!

Have a little faith in yourself.  As you get back into fitness, you will quickly start to notice that you feel stronger, happier, more confident, and capable of achieving your goals.

Plus, you can have fun doing it!  It won’t take much time at all.

You just have to start with a plan to ease back in and be consistent.  Get a friend to join in and help you stay motivated.

You got this!

 

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