A few weeks ago – maybe even a few months ago – you took a break from your exercise routine. Maybe you were injured or perhaps just needed some rest, but somehow that short break turned into a complete disruption of your weight loss and fitness goals. You know you need to get back into your old routine, but you aren’t sure how to ease into it. Follow these four steps, and you’ll be back on track in no time:
Forgive yourself. Even professional athletes fall off the exercise wagon from time to time; why should you be any different? Let go of the guilt and frustration, because continuing to wallow in those emotions won’t change your current circumstances. Acknowledge that you’re only human and move forward.
Ease into your old routine. If you’ve taken an extended break from exercise, you wont’ be able to jump back into your old routine at full strength. Your metabolism has slowed, your muscles have weakened, and your endurance isn’t what it used to be. Start exercising again at a moderate level, but don’t push yourself to perform at your previous level right away. Otherwise you risk injury, serious sore muscles, and burn-out. You might end up quitting again before you really get started.
Start with activities you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to go out for a run today. You probably won’t stick with an exercise routine you don’t enjoy. Choose an activity you love, like hiking or a dance class, and you’ll be much more motivated to stick with it.
Set small, short term goals. It’s discouraging to work tirelessly toward a goal that is months or years away, while seeing very little progress. At first, set some short-term goals so that you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment. After you’ve re-established your exercise routine, you might want to add in some long-term goals, like running a 5k or a particular weight loss goal.
Consult with your Temecula weight loss physician if you have any concerns prior to starting an exercise program.