December 1, 2021

How to start exercising again after a long break

#takeback2021

Life happened in so many unimaginable ways over the last year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of us were thrown off routine and it has taken so long to find our feet again. The thought of restarting exercise again can be daunting and this dread can actually keep you down and feeling like it is impossible to restart. 

If you are thinking of exercising again and getting into a healthy routine, then keep reading for some tips on how to do this.

  1. Tell someone. The act of saying it out loud is a simple yet powerful step. This is the first step towards putting the idea in motion. Sharing with a friend, colleague or partner gives you support and someone to be accountable to. Knowing someone is going to check to on you is often a great motivator. Having a support person/s is often underestimated in a successful fitness journey. 
  1. Start small. If the struggle to start again is too overwhelming, just start off very small and easy. The thought of working out for 45 minutes when you are feeling sluggish, heavy and unfit often leads people into giving up before they even start. Remember, all movement is good movement, e.g. if all you can sum up is 10 minutes of gentle walk, then it’s a good start. You will definitely feel better after this and it will motivate you do it again tomorrow. 
  1. Pick something you enjoy. Find an activity you enjoy to get yourself back into healthy movement. If you enjoy social tennis, soccer, hiking or dancing, then that is an even better way to get the blood flowing. If you are enjoying an activity, it becomes less about being uncomfortable and more about the smiles and enjoyment. Time also passes quickly when you are enjoying an activity. Have you ever noticed that movements you enjoy do not feel like a chore?
  1. Remembering how exercise makes you feel is a great motivator to start again. Working out can feel hard whilst in the moment, but the truth is you will almost always feel energised, happy and accomplished after your workout. If you have exercised in the past, you will know what this feels like. If you have not, well, I am here to tell you that you have a surge of feel-good hormones after your workout. 
  1. Create a schedule and stick to it.  ‘I have no time’ is the main reason people give for not exercising. If exercising is important to you, you will prioritise. Find five minutes or find ten minutes to get you started. There is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ time to exercise. The best time for you to exercise is a time that you prefer and is practical to you. This time should have the least distractions. If your scheduled time doesn’t pan out, find the next available window. Hold yourself to your commitment. 
  1. Set a timeline and attach it to your commitment. This consistency is key to getting back into routine movement and creating this healthy habit again. I would recommend a 30-day commitment. For example, decide to walk every other day with slight time increments over the month. By the time the 30 days are up, you will be feeling stronger; your ten minutes of walking will probably be 45 minutes. You will be feeling stronger and fitter. You would have created a habit. 

If this has been helpful and you are ready to start, remember:

START SLOW,

START SMALL,

SLOWLY BUILD UP,

STAY CONSITENT,

DON’T STOP. 

For more tips on fitness, nutrition and wellbeing, follow me on IG @sweatnationbarbs. 

Coach Barbs

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