5 Simple Tips To Getting Back Into Shape
We all deserve a break. Whether it’s from school, work, or life’s daily routine in general. You either go on a trip to the Bahamas, or just a weekend drive to the countryside. Whatever it is you like to do during your break, it’s important to do so to avoid stresses.
Breaks are inevitable in our routine and our lives. We’re human. We get sick, we get injured, we get tired, we get busy. And so we end up out of our movement routine (whether that’s in the gym or on the trail or in the pool, etc.) and we have to find our way back in.
It’s a great thing if you’ll continue to exercise or workout even if you’re on a trip to somewhere. But most often we don’t or can’t for some reasons. And skipping a couple days of your exercise routine sometimes make it hard to go back.
So how do you motivate yourself to get back into the gym after a break?
This question is most common. It’s always a good one because we all face this situation at some point.
Sure, there are people who never miss a workout. They’re probably those kids who never missed a day of grammar school or high school, too. And they might be the folks who show up at work when they’re feverish or blowing snot all over. But the rest of us are human. And we miss a week or a month or … years.
So, how do you get back into activity after a period off?
- Show Up – It’s simple, but it’s the start. All the motivational books in the world won’t help if you never get off your couch. Stop researching and thinking and preparing, and go do something TODAY.
- It’s Only 30 Minutes – Start slow until you can feel your pace coming back. Thirty minutes is nothing in the grand scheme of your day, but the benefits are lasting.
2. Find Inspiration
- Take before and after pictures – It may sound juvenile, but seeing pictures could be the boost you need. Perhaps browse through your pictures before that break you took and compare it with your current shape. You don’t have to post them on Facebook, instead, they can be kept as a personal reminder.
- Be held accountable with the help of a friend – Telling yourself you aren’t going to make a gym date is a lot easier than explaining to your friend that you’re simply “not feeling it today.” A gym buddy is great to not only get you there but keep you in a competitive state of mind once you arrive.
- Compete – Some people do better competing against others than against self. Consider joining a cycle class, weight lifting class or other group exercises where you can look around and feel motivated to keep on pace and keep pushing.
3. Once You’re In Motion, Stay In Motion
- Stick to it – This is where it gets harder. The second day brings soreness. The second week brings complications. But success doesn’t come on the first day, or everybody would have success. Success comes in the dark and quiet moments when everyone else has gone home.
- Experiment – Try new things, join a new class, go swimming, shake your stuff in a Zumba class, kick fat to the curb with kickboxing, take a yoga class, or explore the great outdoors! There is a wonderful world of fitness to discover and it’s full of countless options.
4. Adjust Your Attitude
- Stop beating yourself up – We all do this—and women are especially good at it. We turn our anger on ourselves. Stop that. Turn your anger onto the trail or the barbell. So you missed a week or a decade. Life happens. You will gain nothing through self-flagellation for past mistakes, but you will gain everything by learning to love yourself. It might sound trite, but it’s true! Remind yourself that you’re back in the game. That’s great news!
- Don’t Multitask – You’re busy, we get it – but the gym is a time to focus on you and nobody else. Get into zone by running and leave the phone at home (gasp!) or put it on Airplane mode so you aren’t tempted to check it in between reps. E-mails, social media and phone calls can wait.
5. Enjoy Yourself
- Choose workouts you enjoy – Don’t suck the fun out of working out because it feels like a chore. Try running, skating, swimming, hiking, the stair master, or going on a walk with your dog. Eventually, you will start to look forward to the new “you” time.
- Celebrate – You ran 5k? You lost 5 pounds? Bake a (healthy) cake, have friends over for a glass of wine to celebrate a month of hard work, or even indulge in a little cheat day. Come on, you deserve it – because tomorrow you start again.
Getting back to exercise is rarely as hard as your brain makes it out to be, so you have to focus on your outlook as well as your workout. Like that old Japanese saying: “Fall 9 times. Get up 10.” Or, in this case, “Stop exercising 9 times. Start again 10.” Get moving. You’ll feel better because you did—and you’ll move closer to your goals!