Exercise is good for the body and mind. It keeps you fit and healthy, and it has been shown to boost mood and energy levels. However, what if you’ve been out of shape for a long time?
How do you ease back into exercise after taking a break? You could just jump into the deep end right off the bat, but that isn’t going to be greatly beneficial. Instead, try to build up resistance, and get stronger and fitter day by day.
Here are some top tips if you haven’t worked out in a while and are looking to get back.
Start exercises slowly, and ease into them gradually
Exercise is good for you, but sometimes it takes a lot of getting used to if you’ve been out of the game for a while.
Start slow, and don’t push yourself too hard. It’s better to do something than nothing at all. However, in the beginning, it’s important not to overdo it. asthat can lead to injury or make you feel discouraged about exercise altogether. That’s especially true if you’re just starting back up after taking an extended break from your routine.
Stretching before and after exercise helps loosen up tight muscles and reduces soreness later on (and prevents injuries). Some such exercises are:
- Sitting with knees bent while reaching forward towards the toes
- Lying flat on the back with your hands behind your head as if stretching neck muscles
- Standing straight up then bending forward from your hips till your hands touch the floor
- Standing on one leg with the other foot raised in front or behind the body (1-5 minutes per side)
Find two or three activities that you enjoy
When you’ve been out of the gym for a long time, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Finding an activity you enjoy can significantly affect how likely you’re to stick with your workout routine.
If you don’t enjoy your exercise, it can be tough for your brain to motivate yourself to go back to the gym or go on a run every day. However, if you do find something that’s fun and engaging, like yoga or swimming, sticking with those activities can become much easier over time.
Keep a fitness diary to track your progress and stay motivated
Keeping a fitness diary is important for tracking your progress. It can help if you keep it fun so you want to use it every day and be more motivated in your workouts.
The fitness diary should be a way for you to track your progress and motivate yourself by seeing how much weight you have lost or how many times you went for a run in the last month.
It doesn’t have to be a diary in its literal sense. You can use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your workouts and calorie consumption.
Plan your meals in advance
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re eating healthy is to plan your meals in advance.
When you don’t have a meal plan in place, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits like snacking on unhealthy food or going out for fast food when hunger strikes. By planning your meals ahead of time, you can avoid these pitfalls and make sure that the foods you’re eating are nutritious and delicious.
Not only planning your meals ahead of time help save money and avoid fast food, but it also helps prevent overeating. Most people are surprised at how quickly they eat when they aren’t paying attention. Sometimes an entire meal goes by before we even realize it.
Portion control is vital for weight loss, as it allows more control over how much protein, carbs, and fat (and calories) you consume.
Take up a low-impact activity
If you’ve been away from exercising for a long time, it’s best to ease into your routine. Low-impact activities are suitable for those who’re out of shape or have injuries, but they still provide the benefits of being physically active.
If possible, try to do at least 30 minutes of low-impact activity daily. Some examples include walking, swimming, cycling and yoga. If you need more ideas on what exercises might be right for you once you’re ready to get back after a break from working out regularly, ask an expert at your local gym or health club.
After taking a long break from exercise, you should start slowly and gradually ease into it.
It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy doing, as it will help keep you stay motivated. Don’t forget to keep a fitness diary so that you can track your progress and stay on track with your goals.
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