Coming Back After a Fitness Layoff
OK – Maybe you’ve been away from your exercise routine for a while. Don’t beat yourself up, we’ve all been there. Perhaps you had a schedule change at work, an extended period of travel, or an injury. Whatever the reason for the interruption, be glad you’re getting back into a healthier lifestyle and be smart about your return.
Here are six tips which will help make sure you achieve success in the pursuit of your health and fitness goals:
1) Warm Up: As you return to your workouts, fully warming up is even more crucial than when you’re regular with your program. If you’ve been away a while, your body will need extra time to adapt to the stresses you’ll put on it. At the beginning of your workout, do light cardio for a few minutes longer than you’re used to and wear warm clothes to retain some of the body heat you’ll generate. Warm muscles are far less prone to tears or strains and finding that your clothes are a little sweaty is positive reinforcement that you’re doing good things for your body.
2) Be Realistic: Don’t try to hit the same numbers in the amount of weight you lift or the reps you knock out. If you’ve been away a month or more, start with 50% of the weight you last used on a given exercise and reduce the reps by about a third. If you leave your workout feeling like you want to do more, that’s great! That feeling will bring you back soon and it’s much better than being sore and unable to work out when you’re just getting reinitiated.
3) Keep it Simple: Limit the variety of exercises you do for any one body part. On your first day back working your biceps, you don’t need to do standing dumbbell curls, hammer curls, cable curls, barbell curls, preacher curls, reverse curls, and suspension trainer curls. One or perhaps two exercises per body part is plenty.
4) Be Body-Friendly: Restarting your program with lower weights is the perfect time to check that the biomechanics and lifting form of your training is safe for your joints. Just as your muscles need to gradually ease back into it, your joints need some time to reacclimate as well. And keeping your joints safe is one factor in guaranteeing that you achieve great results through your renewed commitment.
5) Take Notes: When you start back, it will be very useful to write down what you did during a given workout, how you felt afterward and what goal(s) you’re moving toward. It also helps to have a specific plan BEFORE your workout, to keep you on track and prevent the blank stare that might happen when you aren’t sure what to use next. Seeing your written progress as you get stronger and increase stamina will be an excellent motivator for consistency.
6) Try Something New: Perhaps one reason for your layoff was that your routine got stale. Since you’re essentially starting fresh, take a fresh look at your fitness options. You might want to vary the exercises you do for any one area of your body. Look, for example, at all the movements for training biceps mentioned in #3 above. If you consistently use one type of cardio for your warmup, branch out a bit.
The certified professionals at Premier Fitness Source will be happy to consult with you in regard to any of the points above. Call or stop into any of our Georgia or Tennessee locations for free, expert advice.
Premier Fitness Source – Serving You from Start to Fitness.