Tips To Ease Back Into Exercise
Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. It’s a well-worn cliché, but it’s true – especially so when you’re looking at getting back into exercise after being out of the game for a while.
Yes, it can be overwhelming, but it’s important to be real with yourself. Acknowledge that life sometimes gets in the way and whatever has (or hasn’t) happened, is in the past.
Every day is the choice to start again (okay, we promise that’s the last cliché). If you’re ready to get back into the swing of things, start exercising again by following these simple tips.
Make your goals achievable
A lot of people fail before they even start by making their goals totally unrealistic.
Having that grand end goal – the ultimate weight loss, the strength gain, the bikini body – can be helpful, giving you the extra motivation on those challenging days, but setting the bar out of reach can be counterproductive.
Aiming to hit the gym five days a week when you’ve been averaging zero is only going to leave you feeling deflated when you don’t tick off the full five.
Know your limits, and also remember how quickly you can lose your capacity for exercise when you take a break. Your cardio fitness can diminish after as little as three days!
It’s easy to back out when the goal is too great, so don’t give yourself that excuse. Set achievable goals with a realistic timeframe and always have your gear ready to go. #NoExcuses
Smart small and level up
You don’t need to do an hour-long HIIT session or run 10 kilometres on Day 1 of your new fitness regime.
Start small; commit to just half an hour. Once you’re into it, you might find you can easily go for a full hour. And if that’s not the case, recognise that your half hour of activity is better than none.
Setting different goal levels can be a great way to keep motivated when you’re struggling through one of those particularly taxing weeks.
You might decide doing one session a week is good, doing two sessions is great, and three is excellent. That way you can easily keep your minimum requirement, avoiding feeling like a failure, and potentially even exceed your own expectations.
Keep yourself accountable
When it comes down to it, the only person you’re letting down when you bail on your exercise goals is you. We can be our own harshest critics, but we should also be our biggest cheerleaders!
Remember how good it feels to exercise and motivate yourself with positive reminders and rewards. Just showing up deserves a self-five!
Doing exercise you actually enjoy doing will make it that much easier to commit, too. That’s when it becomes something you look forward to – not something you dread.
Don’t force yourself to hop on the treadmill if cardio’s not your bag, or super-set your weights session if you’re happier working with a pilates band. Make exercise fun and the results will come.