Since the pandemic started, you may have fallen out of a fitness routine and may not have been as active as you’d like because…life happens.
If you’ve taken time off from working out for whatever reason, you may feel overwhelmed about getting back into a routine. Here are 12 tips for getting back at it so you won’t dread your workout.
Get yourself some new gear. One of the best ways to motivate yourself is buying getting yourself new workout clothes that make you feel confident. Or if you already have clothes you love, treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers or other fitness equipment to give your confidence a boost.
Consider how much time you’ve been inactive and any limitations. Be honest with yourself about what you can do. Gently ease back into exercise but don’t over do it by trying to start right where you left off. Be patient with yourself and give yourself grace.
Start small. Plenty of people adopt an “all or nothing” attitude towards fitness, but every little bit counts. Add 10 more minutes of physical activity to your day to help ease your body back into movement. Things like parking farther away in the parking lot or getting extra steps in a day can help ease your mind as well as body back into the routine of exercising.
Get enough rest. Schedule rest days from your fitness routine and listen to your body. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals too close to bedtime, keep you bedroom at a comfortable, cool temperature, and put away the electronics before bed.
Make things as easy as possible for yourself. If you’re working out in the morning, set your gym bag out the night before so you can get up and go. Or program your coffee maker to start without you or prep your morning smoothie the night before so you can get a jumpstart on your day.
Find what motivates you. Realize this may be different than before. Your motivation may have been a personal record but now it just might be stress relief. Consider changing your workout to meet your motivation now so it’s as enjoyable as possible. If you need help working toward those goals or finding ways to make the best use of your time, consider a YMCA Personal Trainer to customize your workouts, just for you.
Try something new. Even when you get back into a routine, your body can become accustomed to the same exercise. Switch it up and explore a new workout or style of exercise that you’ve always wanted to try to help motivate and jumpstart a new routine. Take that yoga class or indoor cycling class you’ve always been curious about. Be honest and reasonable about where your fitness level is though after such a period of inactivity.
Be sure to add a warm-up and cool-down to every workout. Even when you’re ready to jump back into it, your body might not be so warm up and cool down to help reintroduce your muscles to strenuous activity.
Focus on your form. Make sure it’s correct to avoid injury. If you’re trying something new, slow down to ensure you are doing it correctly in the beginning.
Listen to your body at all times. A little soreness or fatigue is normal, but don’t push to the point of being in pain. If soreness persists for more than three days, it may be a sign that you may have injured yourself.
Be sure to adequately fuel your body. Make sure your nutrition reflects what your body needs for your new fitness routine. Consider a post-workout snack with protein and healthy carbohydrates and make sure you are hydrating!
Do it for yourself. Health and happiness is not limited to a certain body type or pants size. Prioritize yourself and your health. It’s okay to take time for you!