Getting your fitness groove back
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In a perfect world, everyone would maintain their fitness routines year in and year out. But the reality is that life gets busy, responsibilities weigh you down or your exercise regime gets stale. Before you know it, you’re making monthly donations to the gym or have dust gathering around your walking shoes.
If this sounds familiar, don’t despair! Everyone has ebbs and flows in their level of motivation and getting back doesn’t have to be as daunting as it first may seem. The first and most crucial step is finding your compassion. Whether it’s been two weeks or two years, resist the urge to berate yourself for halting your routine. It happens to all of us at some point and your willingness to get back on the horse is a courageous step in the right direction.
Here are some other things to consider when getting back to a regular workout:
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself. Depending on how long it’s been since you laced up your training shoes, you may have lost lean muscle tissue or cardiovascular strength. Set yourself up for success by selecting lighter weights or easing back into the cardio workouts. If you’ve been inactive for six months or more, you’ll need to re-build your fitness foundation. A retraining period can take up to twelve weeks to get you back to your previous fitness level.
- Kick-start your renewed fitness routine with a 30 day challenge. Committing to a fitness challenge for a month can help you develop the habit of exercising. There are a number of challenges you can join and a quick online search will lead you to ones you can follow on social media sites or apps.
- Get others involved. If your plans include reviving your lunch hour walk, find a buddy or two in your workplace who would like to join you. You’re more likely to stick with it if you have others counting on you.
- Accept that your old routine isn’t serving you anymore. Maybe that fitness class you loved for a decade has long lost its appeal. Or the machines at the weight room no longer interest you. That means it’s time to rekindle your passion for fitness with a new and different exercise routine. The industry is always coming up with ingenious new ways to get people moving. Not only will it inspire you to get going (and keep going), you’ll end up being fitter when you train in a new and different way.
- Set new goals. Often people meet fitness or weight loss goals and are faced with this challenge: maintaining isn’t as exciting as getting there. There’s no shortage of opportunities to go further with your fitness. Sign up for a 10km run, decide on a weight you’d safely like to deadlift or strive to achieve a certain belt in martial arts. Set a big goal that’ll take you a year to complete and then set smaller goals as milestones to celebrate and to help you get there.
- Plan your workouts seasonally or quarterly. Often, the biggest question on everyone’s minds is, “How long will it last?” You don’t have to have the same frequency and routine month in and month out. You can choose to cycle and hike in the spring and summer and hit the weight room or a boot camp class in the fall and winter. Your work may be busy in February so during that time, you choose to exercise once a week while during the rest of the year, you exercise twice per week. Going into a busy period or a new season knowing you will adjust your exercise accordingly reduces the feeling of failure which can be lethal to your fitness goals.
Getting back into a routine doesn’t have to be daunting. With some well-executed strategies, you can be back at it in no time.
Your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) can help you get back into fitness routine to improve your physical and mental health. Please call 1.866.833.7690 or visit workhealthlife.com to get started.
By Danielle Greenidge. Danielle’s foray in the fitness industry came on the heels of a significant weight loss. Overwhelmed with the information available during this journey, she studied fitness and nutrition, becoming certified as a personal trainer and holistic lifestyle coach. She has introduced many people to fitness and has led lifestyle classes, blending coaching with her passion for joyful movement to help clients design a fitness and nutrition plan that meets their goals.
Tags: exercise, fitness, health, lifestyle, routine