We’ve all failed to keep up our exercise routines at some point. Weeks without training, consecutive days of bingeing especially during the holidays, terrified to step on the scale – it happens to most of us, and it’s always hard to get started again.
Here are 6 things to remember as you kick-start that fitness grind.
- Start with what works for you.
Set a single goal to get started and stick with it for a week. Changing too many things at once about your daily routine will make you become overwhelmed and possibly quit. Example of simple goals could be a 20 minute walk everyday or cutting on sweets and oily/fatty food. Once you stick with it for a couple of weeks, reward yourself by adding on another goal.
Do not over do it.
Your main goal is to get fit without getting hurt. For example, start with a good 30 minutes jog/run on your own pace . If you start off by placing too large of a demand on your body, you run the risk of injury and a quick regression backward. Being so sore the next day that you are hobbling down the stairs does not indicate a quality workout. Be patient and go slow.
- Know the importance of ‘warm up’ and ‘cool down’.
Warm up exercises start the oxygenated blood flowing to your muscles. This will warm and stretch the muscles to prevent injury and will make your whole body feel more invigorated for more strenuous activities. Your heart rate, respiration and body temperature will also increase. Cool down exercises prevent muscles from tightening up.
- Rest is just as important as exercise.
Every time you work out, you create damage in your muscles and other tissue. It’s too small to really notice, but it’s still there. Resting your body allows these tiny injuries to heal themselves. If you don’t get enough rest between workouts, these tiny problems can add up to a larger, more serious injury.
- Listen to your body.
Once you’re on the roll and seeing results of your workout you wouldn’t want to slow down and stop – even though you’re already straining so hard. Listen to your body and don’t wait for pain to impair your performance before getting it checked out.
- Challenge yourself by taking part in events.
Joining events such as mountain climbing or marathons can help build motivation and boost your social skills as you meet like-minded individuals. Seeing others perform well will also help you keep motivated and inspired in achieving your fitness goals. You will also learn more about your pace, techniques, and strengths to best see what works and what doesn’t for your particular body type.
Remember, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed at times. Don’t get discouraged, you got this!