Having an established routine with exercise is something that many of us swear by when it comes to planning our schedules for a sensible work/life balance. But often there are gaps in our pursuit of achieving our big goals and spells where we need some time out.
Contrary to what seems like a backward step in progress, having a break, but returning with a plan can actually support an improved mindset with a revived hunger for success!
Here are some tips on how to get back into the gym after a long break.
Take It Easy
It’s natural to assume that you’ll be fine to pick up where you left off, but launching into your workout at the same level can lead to injuries, intense muscle soreness and a dent to the ego when performance is not quite there. Keep it simple right out of the gate.
Don’t Skip THE Warm Up & Stretch!
You’re feeling pumped, ready to go and keen to have an outstanding return to training. But remember the importance of preparing your joints, muscles and mental state before you start! For a productive workout make sure you warm up properly and cool down when you’re done.
Assess New Goals
Commencing your training again can feel both exciting and overwhelming. Ironing out some previous unhelpful internal excuses and resetting your vision for the next chapter can help to ease into a new venture.
Focus On Form
Having a break from exercise can often lead to muscle tightness and bad habits creeping back in. Pay attention to your form and technique with all of your movements in the early stages of your comeback. This can provide a good foundation to work off of as you build back up and avoid those awkward muscular imbalances!
Engaging in something that you really enjoy as the first step sets the tone for momentum and consistency. So even if you have a lofty long-term goal as the bigger picture, breaking this down into periodised segments can lock in focus and effort with your mini milestones.
Set yourself up for success and get organised the night before. Having your bag packed or workout area set up at home will prevent you bailing on your workout and help you stay on track…and it will also serve as a reminder to get back to the gym and get the class done!
Scaling back the weights/intensity/speed/distance you completed prior to your break might feel demotivating at the beginning. But preparing your body correctly will help to make progressions quicker and not risk blips and downtime through soreness or niggles.
Be Realistic AND Patient!
Having a benchmark of your previous feats can be useful when it comes to pushing through barriers and challenges. However it is also important to take your time to framework a good base before reaching for those metrics again, especially when you’re starting back at the gym.
Often we forget to increase our daily water intake when our activity level has been increased. Hydration is key and needs to be adjusted in line with how much exercise you are doing.