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Maybe you’re recovering from a c-section or a knee injury. Maybe you are busy being a mom, or wife, or superstar employee and life just got in the way of your fitness goals. Either way, most of us have been there.
5 Things To Do When Starting A Workout Routine After A Break
When starting a workout routine for the first time or starting back after a break, you need to set yourself up for success.
Reflect On Why
The last time I started a new fitness routine, I did it for all of the wrong reasons. One of my favorite bloggers was having a ton of success with the BBG workout, so I decided to give it a try. My why, wasn’t mine. It was someone else’s. I wasn’t in it for the right reason, so it should be no surprise that I didn’t have success.
When it comes to your why, it needs to be a real reason. Because when things get tough, fitting into a size smaller jeans, probably isn’t going to cut it. Starting a program because it is new and trendy, doesn’t mean it is going to motivate you to get out of the bed and get your workout in.
So you really need to think about why you want to start working out again. For me, I want to be able to keep up with my high energy kids. Maybe you want to do a tough mudder or a half marathon. Or maybe you need to lose weight and eat healthier as a way to manage your diabetes.
Whatever your why is, it needs to be enough to REALLY motivate you.
Set Up Accountability
For a little bit, I was trying to hold myself accountable by doing gym check-ins on Instagram. It was super nice to see all of the story views when I tagged myself at the gym or posted a BBG workout update. When I didn’t do a gym check-in, nobody cared. That isn’t how true accountability works.
True accountability means you have to answer to someone else that is counting on you. One way to set up accountability is to have a workout buddy. Or if you don’t have a friend that wants to work out, you could hire a trainer. Either way put those appointments with your workout buddy or trainer on your calendar and treat them like the commitment they are.
Start With Something Easy
After taking an extended break from working out, I started a high-intensity interval training system. Did a burn a ton of calories? Yes. But I ended up hurting myself. I’m not talking a few sore muscles from working out or not stretching enough. I’m talking I could hardly move due to the intense pain in my legs and knees.
If you are coming back from an extended break, you are going to need to ease into your old workout routine. For those that are really out of shape or are new to working out altogether, the same applies to you. Start by going on walks with the family or doing an easy walk on the elliptical. Want to go to a class, try an easy yoga class or water aerobics. Boot Camp and Zumba are likely going to be a bit too difficult after an extended absence.
When deciding to get back into a workout routine after a break, make sure to listen to your body. Do what feels right.
I love goal setting so this wasn’t a problem for me. My problem was wanting to set goals that were not reasonable. Or wanting way more immediate results. Like why can’t I lose 30 pounds by tomorrow!?!
While it’s great to have large goals, making smaller more realistic goals is going to keep you motivated to keep at it. If you want to run a half marathon but you haven’t even run a 5k, you might want to set up some smaller goals along the way.
I am an extremely competitive person and I love to win. I am also my biggest motivator when it comes to things like my job. But for some reason, I am not as good at motivating myself to workout. However, if you throw in an incentive or a competition (like an Apple Watch), I am much more likely to find myself sticking to my workout routine.
While you can reward yourself with whatever will work for you, workout related incentives can help keep you on track. Maybe you can buy yourself some cute leggings or shoes if you keep your routine for a month. Or maybe you want to get a massage to help relieve your sore muscles. If you are the kind of person that doesn’t need incentives that is awesome too.
I am not going to sugar coat things. Starting a workout routine after a break (especially an extended one) isn’t going to be easy. With the right reason, a system of accountability, starting out with the right type of exercise, setting realistic goals, and incentives for sticking with it, I am sure we will stick to our workout routines.