It’s the time of year when people are searching for simple ways to start exercising again. Whether it’s the end of the indulgence that summer brings or the start of the new school year for parents that have been rushed of their feet over the holidays, getting back into fitness after a break away isn’t easy.
If finding the motivation to get started wasn’t enough, chances are – when you do take the plunge and try to kick start your regime – exercises feel awkward and anything cardio is an absolute killer!
Here at Perform our members are all ordinary people with very different lifestyles and unique needs, but there are some universal ways to make getting back on track easier and more enjoyable. Here are our top four tips:
- Find Your Motivation
To create a healthy new habit you first have to break unhealthy old ones. This is true whether you’re starting the gym for the first time, or you’re looking to break unhealthy habits developed over a summer break.
If you want to attend the gym three times per week, then you have to make the time to do that by giving something else up. It may mean that you give up an hour’s sleep in order to get to the gym before work, or that you miss watching soaps or Netflix box sets all evening so you can train.
It may seem like an unappealing idea but not if you create an image of what improved fitness will give you. Perhaps that will be more energy to play with your children/grandchildren, the strength and stamina to complete a life goal like a fun run, marathon or mountain climb – it might even just be getting into a fancy dress for the work Christmas party.
Once you’ve created that picture, ask yourself what is more important – improving your fitness or keeping the old habits that are undermining your efforts?
- Have Patience (With Yourself)
If you are just getting started – for the first time or after a break – don’t try and do everything all at once.
Going from no training to six sessions in one week is a sure fired way to burn out, get injured or simply make yourself hate exercise. There are simple and stress-free ways to start exercising again!
If you’ve had a break from training, don’t try and match what you were previously doing. Build your weights back up, keep technique correct and in control and manage your expectations. If you’ve spent the last few weeks getting tight and developing poor movement patterns, no one should expect you to hop right back in, least of all yourself. Give yourself time, don’t beat yourself up and take it step by step – that way you’ll be less likely to give up after two weeks.
It might be that you need to stage your return. Used to train four times a week, why not do two sessions a week, then three and build up to four? Doing two quality training sessions is far better than doing four half-hearted ones because you are exhausted and dreading the prospect of going back into to your pre-holiday routine.
- Ignore the BS
With so many diets, training programs, home workouts and gyms available to you it’s easy to get caught up in the BS, especially at peak recruitment seasons, like when the kids go back to school, in the run up to Christmas and when the ‘New Year, New You’ nonsense kicks in.
Channel out the noise and keep things simple.
- You will not change without changing your diet, no matter how much you try, so pair a return to fitness with a review of your nutrition
- Two to three strength training workouts per week – this doesn’t have to mean hours in the gym, just effective, structured sessions
- Supplement with interval training
- Rest and recover
- Get Organised
Finding ways to start exercising again and getting back into fitness means making a lifestyle change and getting organised as well. Here are some simple tips that our members swear by:
- Book your session in advance – we use Mindbody, so you can book your month ahead, so you have a clear plan to stick to
- Prepping gym kit the night before – get your trainers, gym kit and water bottle all ready and laid out the night before. Investing in prep like this will mean you wake up in a motivated and committed frame of mind
- Prep your meals in advance – to a weekly ‘big shop’ make a meal plan based on Perform’s simple nutrition guidelines, make lunches in advance and stick to it – this will prevent you from making poor food choices and help you stick to your refreshed regime
If you’d like to talk to one of our friendly trainers about getting back into fitness after a break, why not contact us today – we’d be more than happy to help get you back on track!