We’ve all been there - you've had one week off from exercising because you were SO busy, sick or injured and then it somehow turned into one month or longer (eeek!). Getting back into your exercise routine can be intimidating after you take some time off. You might have lost your drive and motivation and don’t know where to even begin. Dust off your sports bra and sneakers because it is time to reboot your routine, confidence and most importantly your health!
Bounce back into your exercise routine with these easy tips:
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Okay, the first thing you need to do is get rid of that guilt! Continuously punishing yourself and setting super high expectations that you might not ever reach is only going to be detrimental to you. If you have been feeling bad every time you pass a gym, let go of that feeling and instead replace it with the newfound excitement of starting up again and reaching your goals.
Take It Slow
Make sure that you start out slow. No matter what the reason for a break - whether it be injury, sickness or just getting busy and having no time - it is important you don’t try to rush back into it and think you are going to be bench pressing your personal best straight away. Depending on the type of exercise routine you had before your break, you might need to modify it slightly. As an example, if you ran everyday you may need to start off walking, then building up to a jog until your body is ready to start running again. If you focused mainly on resistance sessions, you may need to reduce the amount of weight you were lifting and gradually increase it as you regain your strength. It is also really important that you warm up, cool down and stretch properly so that you protect your muscles and joints and avoid injury. Doing this will also help reduce that dreaded next day soreness - especially if you just had leg day!
Prep, Prep & More Prep
Going into anything without a plan is a bad idea because you are already increasing your chances of failure. Knowing what you need to do and having it clear in your mind will help to get through it a LOT easier!
Firstly write down how many days a week you want to exercise. I like to write down one or two days extra because if something comes up and I get busy, I can relax in the fact that I’ll still be able to fit all my sessions in. It is a great idea to buy a desk calendar and cross out each day you workout, this will leave you accountable for your actions and you will also be able to see exactly how many times a month you work out. For some people, these small things are the best form of motivation because they act as a daily reminder to keep going!
Another great tip is to pack your gym bag the day before, including any healthy snacks you want to eat pre- or post-workout. If you go to the gym in the morning, preparing breakfast (such as overnight oats) the night before means you can literally jump straight out of bed the next morning and walk straight out the door. I also keep a spare gym bag with a set of gym clothes in my car so that I am all ready to go at any time of the day.
A lot of the time, people take a break from exercising because they plateau or get bored with their workout routine. One of my BIGGEST tips when it comes to motivation is finding something that you actually enjoy doing. Exercising is not a “one size fits all” thing. There are so many ways you can workout, you just need to find the one that makes you happy. If you are barely getting through your workouts and dread going to the gym, you are not going to be able to sustain it. Find a routine that works for you, and if your previous one wasn’t, then ditch it. You may enjoy taking classes, working out on your own or with a friend. Whatever it is, it should make you excited to keep going and work towards reaching your goals!
Find Your Motivation
It is also important not to overcomplicate things. Keep it simple at first then build your way up. This can stop you from becoming overwhelmed and feeling like the results you want aren’t attainable. Start training a few days a week doing only a few exercises, then build that up slowly once you are confident in your ability and routine. Your mindset is everything and in order to succeed in implementing a successful exercise routine, you need to change your way of thinking. Sometimes we aren’t motivated, we don’t want to workout and can’t find the enthusiasm we so badly need - trust me, I have days like these too from time to time! The key is to treat exercise as part of your routine and make it a habit. We don’t always want to wash our hair, but know that we have to. Getting out of bed in the morning sucks when it’s freezing outside, but you still brave the cold and do it. When you don’t have motivation, don’t look for excuses, just do it. Once you get going, your endorphins will start pumping and it will be over before you know it, and you will feel so proud of yourself.
Get Ahead With These Exercises
When you first get back into working out, your body will need some time to get back to where it used to be. Depending on how long of a break you had, your overall fitness and muscle mass would have deteriorated slightly. The best exercises to do when first jumping back into routine are ones that focus on flexibility and light cardio. This will get your blood circulating and help your joints get back into the swing of things. My favourites include stretches, yoga and light walking/jogging depending on your fitness level. Taking it easy is one of the most important things because you don’t want to burn out as soon as you get back into it. Once you are confident, you will feel fit enough to embark on a more vigorous routine. You can either start out with a plan like my BBTG or find something that will challenge you each week.
I hope these tips have helped, girls! Remember there will never be a ‘perfect’ time to start back up again. You need to get your mindset right and tell yourself “I can do this”. Be prepared, be confident and make it a habit!Love Kayla xx