Whether you were someone who was pretty good at sports in school or you were at the gym all of the time during your early 20s and had to give it up due to the busyness of life, getting back into the swing of things can be difficult. Maybe you are just someone who had a very lengthy break away from exercising. If you’ve had a long break, the sedentary lifestyle can creep in and the weight can creep up. It’s not just moving that’s important. Your mindset matters. You need to get back to exercising the right way.
Exercise is great for so many different reasons. It makes us feel good, and it’s a perfect way to start committing to long-term health goals. It can be difficult to get that initial motivation back, especially when it’s so difficult at the very outset, mentally and physically. Here are some of the keys to help you get back to exercising.
Make Sure You Are Medically Sound
The big mistake we all make when we start exercising again is doing too much, too soon. A lot of people find that they can aggravate old injuries, like a hernia. If there is an old injury that’s stopping you from exercising, or you feel that something hurts a little bit too much, there are always physiotherapists that can provide you with help and support, especially if it’s one little thing that’s stopping you exercising your entire body.
If you take medication, and you have concerns that it could impact your ability to exercise, book an appointment with the doctor and discuss it. The doctor may recommend certain exercises. Rather than weight lifting or high-intensity cardio, they might recommend something gentle like swimming. And it’s these things that provide the perfect foundation to getting back into exercise.
Take It Slowly
It’s not a race. We can run the risk of injuring ourselves if we try to do too much at the very outset. It’s far better to start slowly. You are going to reap the benefits, and it’s more likely you’ll stick to it. People often want to lose weight quickly; it can be lost easily on fad diets But you lose the pounds very quickly, they can be put back on just as easily.
Exercise and healthy living is a lifestyle choice, not a quick fix. At the very beginning, we need to take it slowly; not just focus on a general workout but with specific goals in place. We will come to this at the next point.
Focusing on lifting heavier weights or running faster isn’t going to help if you need to focus on the form. Your body is a machine, and it will reward you accordingly, as long as you do things properly. Time and time again, people lift incorrectly because they think that to be stronger you’ve got to lift heavier weights. In fact, if you focus on doing things correctly, not only will you get stronger and lose weight more quickly, but you also won’t have so many injuries.
What Are Your Goals?
You need to think about specific goals, because a general aim doesn’t work. A lot of people exercise purely for aesthetic reasons. This can result in a lot of emotional complexes. If we think that we need to lose X amount of weight in order to feel happier, what happens when we lose that weight? Will we really feel happier, or will we set the bar higher?
It is very important that you focus on worthwhile goals. Exercise isn’t just about benefiting your body, but it is about benefiting your mind and health as well. Have proper, definable goals.By focusing on these goals, you can craft your workout plan accordingly. Structure and goals help you stick to your scheduled. If you don’t have clear goals in place, the workouts will suffer and you will lose momentum and focus. At this point you will probably think of throwing in the towel.
Listen To Your Body
Sure, they say pain is gain, but at the very beginning when you are getting back into exercise, doing too much, too soon is not the way to go. You could go into your first workout and feel that you can do a lot because you aren’t aching, but wait until the next day. You will feel as stiff and very sore; that’s when you’ll know you’ve done too much.
Exercise is a lifestyle, but you also have to be able to live your life in conjunction to exercise. A lot of people go to the gym 6 or 7 days a week, but these people don’t have a life!
Listen to your body, and be sure not to overdo it when you’re getting back to exercising. You don’t have to buy a gym membership right away. Build up to a point where you feel you’re ready to try three 45 minute gym sessions a week. This is why we have to listen to our body at the beginning. While we ultimately need to push ourselves, it’s all about doing just a little bit more beyond our capabilities. When we do this, we will hurt the next day, but this is where adequate nutrition comes in handy, as well as a proper warm-up routine and cool down session.
We are pushing our body to its limits, even if that means just five minutes of strenuous activity more than we can bear in the beginning. If you feel that you are doing too much, lower the weight or exercise for 5 minutes less, and start to build back up again. We have to listen to our bodies because if we don’t, we can aggravate injuries. Doing too much and getting really sore discourages us going back to the gym for a long time.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Getting back to exercising is your journey right now. And this means you’ve got to focus on your plans, not someone else’s. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, especially if you’ve gotten to the point where you are going to the gym. You see all these other people lifting heavier, running faster, but they’re on their own journey and have different goals.
The one simple way we begin to compare ourselves to others is in terms of body type. But if you see someone who is unbelievably trim and you want to look exactly like that, it’s important to be realistic. Not because what they have is unattainable to you, but there are other things that can get in the way, such as body type and genetics.Or we see someone on TV or on Instagram ,and we want to look just like they do.
So many people have very unhealthy views of their body. When we exercise, especially after a long time away from it, we can think that we want to look like someone or have a certain amount of strength because someone else has set the benchmark. It’s far better to see progress in yourself, because this is a better motivation tool.
Make It A Habit For Life
It’s time to stop thinking about exercise as the gateway to a perfect body, or to build muscles. These things are all great, but they are by-products of a healthy lifestyle. As boring as this answer is, the real truth in having a healthy life is about the lifestyle habits you have every day.
There are people that go to the gym every day, and we can look at them and think they have the perfect body. However, on the inside, it may be a very different story. Having a perfect body doesn’t mean you will be happy.
Exercise is something that can make us feel really good about ourselves and not just because we are losing some weight or getting fitter. The endorphins exercise creates means that we will feel that post-exercise high. If you can commit to twice a week exercising, that is great, if you can commit to three times, that is even better. But if you start to obsess about exercising all of the time, and it consumes your thoughts, are you really “healthy?” Getting back into exercise after a long break is about remembering what it can do for you in terms of your life, not in terms of what it can make you look like.
Exercise is something that, on a very basic level, increases our strength, improves our blood flow, and makes us feel a little bit happier. When you decide that you want to get back into exercise after a long time, you need to remember that it’s a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. And those people that can make it a part of their life realize that it’s a great way to be healthy, but it’s not their whole life. Life is about doing things that you enjoy and spending time with those you love. There’s no point killing yourself in the gym if you hate it. Instead, go running with a friend, play badminton.
Our bodies were built for moving and running around, and even if you can’t run a marathon right now, who’s to say you cannot in a few months’ time? This is why goals are important, but it’s also about being realistic, especially at the very outset. After a long break, exercise can be intimidating in mind and body. But give it time, and it will be an invaluable part of your lifestyle.