Getting back to exercise of any form can be a bit daunting, particularly when you feel like you’re starting from the beginning – either you’re embarking on a new exercise regime to get yourself feeling fitter and stronger, or you’ve been out of action for a while due to illness or injury. I’m in the latter category myself but regardless, here’s some of my tips to getting back into the swing of things.
1) Don’t do what I do and start by going hell for leather! It is so tempting… you want to prove that you can do more, push further right from the get go. That drive is good, but tame it – start off slow and pace yourself
2) Set yourself an exercise goal. It’s useful to be specific, so for example rather than set a goal such as “I want to be able to run faster”, set a specific goal such as “I want to be able to run 5k in 35 minutes by Christmas”. Don’t set yourself up for failure by giving yourself an unreachable target. Sometimes it’s useful to ask for the input of those around you – your personal trainer, your physio – to make sure your goal is achievable and within reach
3) See if any of your friends have an exercise goal too, find someone to exercise with. Nothing better than having the chats while out walking, jogging, running, gymming… keeping each other going and distracting you from the exercise burn!
4) Silence that “I hate exercise” voice. Personally speaking I hate the idea of exercise, but once I’m actually exercising it’s the best feeling. “I’ll start tomorrow”, “I’ve got to answer these emails right now”, “my trackies are in the wash” .. just go anyway 🙂
5) Don’t like running? Try something else. Don’t like the gym? Don’t visit one, go out hiking. If you really do hate a particular form of exercise, try some new forms – swimming, cycling, rowing… there’s lots to choose from. You don’t have to be a gym bunny unless you want to
6) Preparation is key to success. Make sure you have everything you need to help you stick to your newfound exercise routine. From gear to a charged phone to the right shoes – don’t let lack of prep get in the way of your exercise routine
7) Rest when you need to. You’re the best judge of what your body needs, rest is key to avoiding pushing yourself beyond what your body is able for, and avoiding increasing the risk of injury. If you have a cold, flu, tummy bug – wait even longer after feeling back to 100% before you start exercising again. Don’t worry, you’ll get back to where you were. Look after yourself first and foremost
8) Lastly, at the end of the day exercise shouldn’t be viewed as physical punishment 🙂 Get out and move your body, feel the air in your lungs and the wind in your hair. Enjoy yourself!