With the gyms starting to reopen in the next week or so, many people are wondering how to get back to their normal exercise habits after months of home workouts, outdoor workouts, or completely taking time off from exercising.
No matter the reason for getting out of your old routine, here is some friendly advice for ramping things up again safely and effectively so you don’t get injured or totally discouraged. Whether you’re transitioning from no workouts to home workouts, home workouts to gym workouts, or anything in between, here’s how to get back in shape (or just back to your usual workout schedule) — the right way.
Set realistic expectations.
Regardless of your previous fitness level or how long you have been away from your normal sweat sessions, be prepared for an adjustment period as you get back up to speed. In fact, the first one or two weeks are all about readjusting your body to exercise (or your previous level of exercise) again.
Don’t overdo it.
Taking your time to ease back into exercise by going for lower rep counts, lighter weight, and focusing on form will give your body the movement and surge of energy it’s been missing — without putting you at risk for injury.
By keeping the demand lighter and steadily increasing difficulty over those first weeks, you’ll get back where you were faster than if you push too hard right out of the starting blocks.
If you’re looking for specific numbers, start with whatever you’d consider to be your bare minimum routine pre-workout break, and then decrease it by 20 percent. So, if you like to run and a typical easy jog was a relaxed 5K, aim for a maximum of 4K for your first workout back.
It can be tough to come to terms with feeling like you’ve taken 10 steps back in terms of your fitness level. But being harsh on yourself will make it harder to stay motivated.
Try to start from a mental baseline of where you are currently and not judge yourself against where your fitness levels may have once been in the past.
Doing this will allow you to set smaller incremental goals that will push you, but are not so far out of reach to be unrealistic. Focusing on short-term goals that are grounded in actions — for instance, exercising for 15 minutes every other day — can also make it easier to stick with your routine.
Remember any help you need from setting goals to helping with form and technique, Team SF are on hand to help, just find one of us and we will be happy to help