This year, a lot of fitness enthusiasts have found themselves unable to follow their preferred fitness routines. The combination of gyms closing, unprecedented stress and declines in motivations have caused a lot of people to get off track with their training.
Today, many of us are exploring our options (“what’s realistic for me right now?”) while adjusting to a new normal. Here are five helpful tips to get your exercise routine back on track after you’ve taken a break.
1. Set action-based goals
Goal setting is an essential step when learning how to start exercising again. Dedicate some time to self-exploration and determine what you hope to accomplish, and what steps you must take to get there.
The problem with traditional goal setting is that it focuses on the destination without identifying a clear path forward. Setting action-based fitness goals helps ensure that you’re taking baby steps forward, even on difficult days.
Instead of saying you want to get back into training, think about what you can do each day to support it. Action-based goals might include:
- Setting out workout clothes each night
- Getting to bed at a certain time and getting up earlier
- Signing up for virtual classes for the week every Sunday
- Drinking eight glasses of water per day for hydration
Set goals that focus on actions rather than results.
2. Start small and scale-up
Another important lesson when resuming exercise is to start small. Muscle memory is a powerful thing, and you will get back to your previous levels quickly. However, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is also a powerful thing that can derail your initial efforts to get back on track.
According to fitgid.net, the best way to get back on track is to start slow and build from there. For your first few sessions back, don’t push the intensity. Keep the weights a little lighter and the movements a little slower. Instead of exhausting yourself during your first few workouts, create a strong base for improvement in the coming weeks.
3. Create schedules and routines
Everyone is experiencing schedule fluctuations and new routines. Sit down with a calendar and outline your day. Then, determine the best time of day to exercise and schedule it like an appointment.
Don’t be afraid to use a time audit sheet or app to see where you’re potentially wasting time. Many people who feel as though they don’t have time to exercise just need some help with time management.
4. Set a daily minimum
Give yourself a daily minimum for exercise. Five minutes of training may not help you burn a ton of calories or get stronger, but it will help you build a routine.
On the days you don’t feel like exercising, commit to completing five minutes of a workout. When the five minutes is up, push to do five more. If you decide to call it quits before the end of your workout, focus on what you’ve accomplished to create a positive mindset.
5. Find an accountability partner
Finally, find someone who is in a similar situation and wants to get back on track with exercising to be your fitness buddy. Ideally, you’ll find someone with a similar schedule and goals. Work with this person to hold each other accountable and encourage each other to get things done.
If you can’t find a friend, family member, or coworker to be an accountability partner, look for an online group. Alternatively, you can work with a fitness coach to help you create a new routine and guide you toward reaching your goals.