One minute you’re training regularly and feeling great. But then something comes up. Maybe it’s a busy period at work. Maybe your personal life gets in the way. Whatever it is, a day off becomes a week off. A week off becomes a month off. And before you know it, you’re left wondering how to get back into exercising after a break.
I feel you!
Recently, I’ve had a bit of a hiatus from training myself. I’ve been busy moving countries, starting a new job, and falling in love. So I get it, despite your best intentions, sometimes life gets in the way.
So how do you get back into exercise after a break? Follow these 4 tips to get you back on track.
Resist the temptation to go hell for leather right from the off. Definitely don’t jump straight back into the same training schedule as you had before.
If you try to do too much right at the beginning you risk getting demotivated by the mammoth task you’ve set yourself and end up giving up when it all becomes too much. Even if you manage to stick to your planned schedule, you risk overdoing it and you might even injure yourself. So, to begin with, take it easy.
Even one gym session a week is a reasonable goal if you’re just starting out.
In fact, don’t feel like you have to hit the gym at all to begin with. Even getting outside for a brisk 20-minute walk will make a massive difference when getting back to exercise after a break.
The key to sustainable change is to start small and build up from there. So resist the ‘all or nothing’ mentality and plan a realistic schedule to ease you back into exercise after a break.
It’s a cliche, but the saying is true; fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
The best way to get back into the habit of exercising after a break is to treat your training sessions and an important appointment with yourself. Schedule the date and time of your sessions and treat them like any other appointment.
Also, make sure you have everything you need for your workout prepared in advance. Pack your gym bag the night before, or lay out your exercise kit ready for when you need it. I like to organise my gym clothes so I have a week’s worth of outfits ready to go. Check out this earlier blog post to see how I do this.
Fix Your Mindset
Ok so maybe you’re feeling a bit annoyed that you let your training slip. But mindset is KEY. And beating yourself up about your perceived failures is not going to help you here. Yes, regular exercise is important for your health. But sometimes life gets in the way, and you know what, that is ok!
So forgive yourself and focus on the positives.
Setting goals can help keep you motivated, but make sure you set some smaller, achievable, milestones as well as your overall main goal. Having little goals to tick off along the way can really help to spur you on and keep you motivated.
And while we are talking about goals, try to resist the temptation to focus on appearance-related goals. Even better, make your goals about performance and not outcome. This approach is far more likely to help you keep motivated long term when returning to exercise after a break. So for example, instead of setting a goal to lose 2kg in a month, set the goal of completing 12 training sessions in a month.
There are so many fantastic reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with how your body looks, but even if your motivations for working out are more appearance-oriented you’re still more likely to reach your goal if you set smaller, performance focused goals along the way.
Focus on the process, and the rest will follow anyway!
If you’re returning to exercise after a break, you don’t have to go it alone!
Having a friend to workout with is likely to help you stick to your plans, especially when you are just starting out with exercise after a break. If you don’t know anyone who will train with you, you could always join a fitness class and try and make some new gym buddies!
Another great way to help you get started with exercise after a break is to hire a personal trainer. A personal trainer can design a program specifically for you that will ease you back into exercise after a break. Whats more, having an appointment with a personal trainer that you can’t easily cancel will make it a lot more likely that you will actually stick to your plan!
The initial stages of getting back to exercise after a break can often be a bit of a struggle, but getting started is often the hardest bit. If you follow these 4 tips it will make it a lot easier to get back into exercise after a break.
And if you need a little extra help, click here to download my easy to follow full body bodyweight workout to get you back in the exercise habit. This workout can be done at home with no equipment so no gym membership necessary!