We all know that life is busy and we’re ADDICTED to busy. And sometimes, the first thing to go after sleep is working out and exercising. Then, it becomes this never-ending cycle and daunting task to get yourself back to where you once were. It started out with a busy day that turned into a busy week that then spiraled into a busy month and then one thing led to another, and your life hit pause on being active.
Just a reminder: it’s okay to hit pause because you can hit play again. You might need to rewind a little bit, but you just can’t let that rewind button get stuck. There’s not a universal how-to guide with how to get back into working out after a hiatus. Everyone’s different, but there are some tips that can at least get you into the right headspace to get back to it.
Find your motivation.
It sounds cheesy, cliché, probably in some self-help book somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valid in its entirety. With fitness, you have to want it for yourself. It has to be more than just wanting to lose some weight, getting back at an ex, or looking good in that outfit. You’re going to have to dig a little bit deeper than that.
Once you find your motivation, find the proper ways of measuring the results of that motivation. We so often determine progress by the number on a scale or the number of hours spent in the gym. The chances of keeping a sustainable workout routine must include more out-the-box / out of-societal-norms type of metrics such as how your body is feeling, if you can do that same workout from last week a little easier, or maybe if your clothes begin to fit differently.
It’s good to feel a sense of urgency when getting back into a workout routine. It’s time to get real and honest. Taking a week or even two weeks off from a regular fitness routine (let alone longer) can result in a substantial reduction of muscle strength and endurance. The time to get that strength back is much longer than any of us want to come to terms with. Don’t jump back in thinking that you’re going to be able to press the same amount or run your usual mile time because it’s no longer your “usual”.
This is the perfect time to practice the art of patience. Those last two reps, your only day off that’s calling you to stay in bed all day, or that workout that crushed your spirit because you’re not where you used to be is where patience is going to make all the difference.
*deep breaths necessary*
If you’re needing to be patient with getting back into your fitness routine, you’re probably needing to be patient with your food routine too. Many health professionals state that easing into those changes is the way to go, but also this is when knowing yourself and making decisions that are best for you are key. Some people need to go all in or some can slowly introduce that lifestyle. The choice is yours.
Redefine exercise, health, fitness, you name it.
In your previous routine, maybe exercise was defined by an 1.5 workout with stretching before and after, pre-workout, and cardio. Or maybe it was a spin class followed by yoga. Maybe, you were a runner and it was no less than 5 miles a day. You have the power to redefine what exercise / health / fitness mean to you.Exercise now could mean 45-minute workouts mainly focused on bodyweight exercises, high heartrate, and a good sweat. In two months, exercise could be defined as being in the gym 6 days a week and lifting heavy. Give yourself the time to find your definition and routine.
Plus, there are little ways to help define these terms. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of taking the moving belt at the airport, incorporate squats during commercial breaks, etc. It also helps to solidify these definitions by having those around you doing similar things.
We all need support or someone who is at least willing to understand our motivations, patience, and journey through redefining this important piece of life. A trainer may also be a good idea, to have someone there to help you with programming and ensuring that you push yourself to your limits each time. It’s a very personal choice to choose your accountability partner, so make sure you’re ready.