How to Start Exercising Again After a Long Break

Research shows that body fat, weight, and waist size can rise after just a five-week absence from exercising, not to mention the decrease in fitness level.

Now is the perfect time for a comeback. People who had been sedentary in the exercise department may have different reasons for the long workout break. Whatever the reason is, this post will help you be active again.

There will be a lot of challenges on the way, not only physical but emotional and psychological as well. Remember that after a long vacation from exercise, you can't go right back to your previous workout routine. Whatever it is that made you inactive for a while, no matter where you are now, you can make a comeback to be your fit self again.

Here are some reasons for the long break from exercising and how to have a great comeback:

You recently gave birth.  Exercise is prohibited until after 6 weeks postpartum. You can still pop a workout DVD or watch postpartum exercises on YouTube. If you receive a go signal from your doctor, then it's time to put what you have watched into action. You can do this while your baby is asleep. You can even dance slightly while you are carrying and rocking him to sleep. Another is you can put your baby in the stroller and have a brisk walk with him. Commit even just 5 to 10 minutes of exercise each day. You don't need to go to the gym to get your pre-pregnancy body back. Exercise in even a short time battles postpartum depression just like the more intense ones. If you still don't feel energized or are easily exhausted, try again later or take a day off. Don't push yourself too much.

You have an insane work schedule.  If you want to workout after you wake up, inch your alarm back a little every few days to beat the waking up blues. It will also help you regulate your body clock so you'll have more energy. If you want to workout at night, you can bring workout clothes in the office and get changed before you leave work. The rest will follow through. Exercise will help boost your memory, learning, and mental sharpness. You will become even more efficient at work.

You had an injury.  Don't rush into your previous workout routine -- it will only put you at risk for another injury. At the same time, don't be afraid to try again. Just take it easy. When you receive a go signal from your doctor, ease to your previous routine by at least 50% for around 2 weeks. Stay positive that you will regain your strength and form.

You have been in a holiday vacation.  Weeks of eating and drinking without exercise may leave you discouraged to exercise again, simply because you know you can not undo your siesta. You feel guilty that after months of strictly working out and eating healthy, you ripped off the trend. What should you do? After partying during your holiday break, don't quickly hit the gym hard as it can result to exercise burnout. Instead, choose light activities first such as yoga and short strength circuits. Don't ever think that it's too late anyway because you already gained the pounds. Don't delay your comeback and just stick with even a simple exercise activity that you love. Gradually proceed to the more intense ones when you're ready. 

I personally experienced all of the above. Making an exercise comeback is not always easy. It takes a lot of determination and motivation especially when you have obstacles along the way. It can be boring and tiring. You might not see results in the time frame that you expected. What I did was I made fitness a must-do. I think about the long-term benefits. A little goes a long way, coupled with one swap or change in diet to a healthy one each day. Discipline is key, but I give in to my not-too-healthy cravings once in a while.

Exercise helps us be more confident and healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally -- enough reason to make a comeback the soonest possible.

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

6 comments:

  1. I totally agree with easing back into it after an injury! I had peroneal tendonitis at the end of cross country season and took an entire month off to recoup. Running again was definitely hard at first but taking things easy was definitely the way to go! Thanks for this thorough post :)

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    1. Yes, take it easy and you'll fully recover to continue your old routine. I'm glad you are fine now.

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  2. There is always an excuse, I have been going through a little of that myself ... I keep trying and pushing through.. I love being active... I just lost a little but it's coming back. Great post, very imformative ;)

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    1. Hi Launna, yes a lot of temptations along the way. But if there's a will, there's a way.

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  3. Thanks Lea.. you have inspired me to bring my cross trainer inside (winter here in Perth) and keep going. Sometimes when it's cold all you want to do is curl up with a good book or movie.. or is that just me :)

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    1. Me, too... cold weather is bed weather! :)

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