Sometimes you have to take some time off from your fitness program.
Events or important work projects come up. The kids activities get you a little off track.
Maybe you’ve been ill or even sustained a injury that prevented you from sticking to your regular workout schedule.
Time off can make the inertia off restarting your program seem insurmountable.
Here’s a three-pronged strategy to help you get back on the proverbial fitness-horse:
1. Show up
We often tell ourselves that we’ll start tomorrow (hey, it’s Monday!).
The problem is that when tomorrow comes, our habit hasn’t been to get to the gym lately, so it’s easy to just find our way home after work.
Consider making an appointment with yourself. Remove the obstacles and literally put in your day planner or on your smartphone calendar.
Put your gym clothes in your gym bag the night before and put your gym bag on the passenger seat of the car.
Take a snack for afterwork/pre-workout to stave off hunger and give you a little energy.
Better yet, get up early and hit the gym before work. Nothing better than having your workout done for the day to allow focus on other things.
2. Do something fun
Maybe you like to lift heavy things, so barbells and dumbbells are where you like to spend your gym time.
Some folks like to put on their music and hit the rower, the bike, or the elliptical.
Maybe you like to like the social aspect and dynamic of a group class. Our Athletika programs at IFAST are an easy way to kickstart your comeback with a team-style, encouraging environment. Sweating with friends is always easier.
3. Respect your time off
Start easier than you think you should.
We tend to remember where we left off in our exercise programs. Starting off too intensely is a common mistake that often results in excessive muscle soreness the next day or two. This can make it harder to get to your next workout. Better to build yourself a series of successes that will lead to a higher level of fitness than even your previous best.
If an injury or pain has kept you away from the gym, then you may need to restore lost movement and endurance. Consider a program like ReFit where you can be reintroduced to the gym as part of your physical therapy program at no extra charge.