Remember when you were in the shape of your life? Back when you were crushing your workout routine, dominating your chosen sport, and feeling like you could take on the whole empire by yourself? Yeah, those were the days.
But then life happened and your priorities changed. Your career took off, your family grew, an injury put you on the bench for an extended time, or maybe you just got back from vacation and haven’t hit the gym in a while.
Whatever the case, getting back in action can be difficult when you haven’t been active in who knows how long. Here are a few quick tips to help you work through the rust and get your exercise routine back on track.
Start With a Game Plan
If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s probably a good idea to do a bit of homework and find some routines that will work for you before you begin. But before you hop online and hit the fitness websites and videos, it’s best to talk to your physician—especially if you’ve been inactive for a while. They typically have solid advice and tips to help you get started. They can also guide you to try exercises that will help you work around injuries and address specific conditions.
Ease Back Into it
Who cares if you can't run as fast or lift as much as you did back in your glory days? We all have to start somewhere. And while you may be in a rush to pick up right where you left off, the fact is, you need to work up to that. Remember, doing something—anything—is always better than nothing. Starting off small instead of jumping into the deep end right away can help prevent injuries and ease you back into a routine. And that’s something you can build on. It may not seem like you’re doing everything you can, but at least you’re moving in the right direction. And that’s a great start.
Track Your Progress
Nothing is more motivating than sweet success. As you stick to your game plan and slowly ramp up, be sure to take note of your improvement. When you first start out, stepping on a scale may seem like facing judgement day, but you’ll be glad you did when you start to shed some pounds. Likewise, you may get a kick out of seeing your mile times go down or seeing how much more weight you can lift. Doing so can also keep you accountable and remind you of your mission to do better.
Enlist Some Backup
What’s Batman without Robin, Marty without Doc, or Eric B. without Rakim? Everyone needs a partner in crime. Surely, you’re not the only one looking to get back in shape. And inviting a friend to tag along with you can keep you going on those days you may not feel up to it. Even if they choose not to exercise with you, letting a friend in on your end goal can prompt them to cheer you on as you work toward victory. Plus, they can provide support to keep you motivated when the going gets tough.
Like Bruce Wayne once said, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” Since that guy likes to dress up as a bat and beat up criminals in his spare time, you should probably give him the benefit of the doubt. So, it’s time to stop talking about it … remember that you are in control, and get busy working on a healthier you.
In addition to reducing stress, increasing your energy levels, and helping you get back in shape, reigniting your fitness routine can also encourage you to incorporate other healthy habits to your lifestyle.