After a long break of perhaps months, years or decades! Getting back into shape can be daunting.
Rest assured, if you used to be fit, then making a fitness comeback is easy.
Recovering your shape becomes a process of starting back slow and keeping a steady pace.
Fitness is a life skill
If you have been “missing from action” over months/years, then it’s important to understand that a healthy active lifestyle is a skill you need to practice daily.
No one can continually skip exercise and hope to feel healthy and happy long term.
On a positive note; getting back in shape after an exercise hiatus means that the more out of shape you are, the quicker you’ll feel and see results!
For example, a seasoned runner will see few gains over weeks compared to a beginner who will see dramatic changes over the same period.
What to expect from your fitness comeback
When you first start to re-exercise, you will recognize that your cardiovascular conditioning and muscle strength isn’t as you remember.
Please don’t let this defeat you, keep in mind that fitness is for the long term and then start with the fitness you have.
Initially, your exercise program may be limited to a few modified body-weight exercises such as push-ups from a chair and body-weight squats.
Again, don’t be discouraged, focus on what you can do right now, instead of what you can’t.
Your body is an amazing machine; returning to fitness will be like “riding a bike” in a couple of weeks your nervous system pattern-recognition will kick in and take over. You will be back to fitness in no time!
Here is how to come back to fitness safely
- Go slow. Accept that you are not as fit as you were and that’s OK. You can start with just 9 minutes a day. The goal is to get moving consistently. Doing too much too soon will overwhelm you mentally, physically and spiritually.
- Keep the intensity low. Maybe at 50-60% of what you think you are capable. You can gradually take up the intensity and feel a sense of accomplishment rather than being too sore to move for days.
- Become body aware. Understand the difference between challenging your body and damaging your body. Never work through sharp localized pain. The “pain” of muscles working feels hot (burning) and there is a pleasurable sense of relief after exercising.
- Have an action plan. “Failing to plan is planning to fail” Yep a cliche! But a good one… if you don’t know what you’re going to do, chances are you’ll end up doing nothing. Therefore, in addition to your long-term goals, a focus on the daily actions will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
- Rest days, good nutrition and sleep. Recovery is an essential part of fitness. When you take a rest, your body is still working hard to repair and rebuild itself. For your body to do this, you have to provide it with the right nutrients and get enough sleep. If you don’t rest to recover, you won’t have the energy to put into exercise what is required to get back to fitness.
Finding a fitness system that works for you
Everybody is different, and only you know your body. It is therefore essential that the fitness system you choose is one that is conceptually easy for you to follow consistently.
I feel the key components of fitness are:
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Core conditioning
- Strength training
It is these elements that I incorporate into your program each week.
- My hope is to guide you into well-being with a body that becomes evergreen with exercise.
Lasting health is about moving forward with the fitness you have and not dwelling in what was… inaction becomes a heavy load to carry over time.
Abraham Lincoln said:
I am a slow walker, but I never walk back
I would love to hear of your fitness comeback in the comments below or click on the link to find out more about our program and to download your FREE 9 minute workout!
Live well with fitness!