We’ve all been there. In the beginning, running is the most fun thing you can imagine. You’re super motivated to get up just a little bit earlier each day to lace up those shoes and head out. Or, that evening run becomes the best thing to clear your head… until one day, it isn’t. Then, your best friend wants to try a new fitness class and you go along because, well, it’s your best friend and that’s what you do. Then it’s your favorite fitness class too, and you go every day until burnout sets in.
And once you get on the couch, it’s hard to get back off it again.
One missed class or bike ride turns into several, and the weeks start to pile up, and you suddenly realize that the last time your heart rate was elevated was during that suspenseful show everyone is watching. In other words, you’ve fallen out of the workout cycle, and don’t know how to get back in. But never fear, it’s not as difficult as you think. Here’s how you can start working out … again, after taking some time off.
Going slowly is key
Be gentle with yourself. You may not have exercised properly in a while, but that’s ok. Baby steps are the way to go – walking for 30 minutes each day is a good start. If that’s too much, start with 15. Do whatever works for you and your schedule, but remember that today, many BABY-G watch features include step counters, so try and get in those 10,000 steps if possible.
It’s not a chore
If your goal is to move more each day, start to plan. Park further from your destination, bike around, rather than drive, and make a point to walk more quickly when shopping. All the little bits and pieces of exercise during the day count too, so use your time wisely.
Try a new gym
Perhaps you’re new to the gym, or haven’t been to the fancy, shiny facility that just opened down the street. Either way, your workout rut – or breakup – may have been caused by gym fatigue. Check out a new place, join with a friend and make a pact to challenge each other during workouts. There’s only so long a person can stare into space while using the elliptical.
Classes are a blast
Challenge yourself with trying some new fitness classes. You might make some new friends and also move your body in new ways. There are plenty of classes to suit your whims; if you’re feeling dancey, try Zumba, if you’d like to lift, look into Crossfit.
Ultimately, be kind to yourself
It took a while to quit working out, so it will likely take a while to get back into it. Lift lighter weights to start with, for example, and don’t be unkind to your body because it isn’t quite as capable as it once was. You will get back to your fitness level in time, but as you work toward your goal, notice the subtle changes in your body and how you are feeling – chances are, you’re getting stronger, faster or maybe even just a bit happier.
Getting back into working out can be fun – just try and remember why you stopped working out in the first place, and aim to learn from those feelings or that particular experience. In other words, try not to fall into the same trap again!
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