Not Exercised Since High School? Here’s How To Start Up Again
There are loads of reasons as to why you may have had an extended stay away from anything more strenuous than a walk to the local supermarket.
Maybe you suffer from FOWO (Fear Of Working Out) or have Gymophobia. It could be that you are recovering from an injury. Perhaps you were an all round sports ace at High School but then discovered life once you graduated and, well, here you are, twenty years later, starting to feel a bit conscious about your health and well-being.
Whatever it is, getting back onto your bike or on a treadmill can be a touch daunting. It’ll be totally worth it though.
Your hiatus from the world of physical activity does, however, make you more susceptible to injury, which is why it is important that you know how to properly ease yourself back into a workout routine.
Here a few of our top tips and tricks:
Just Do (Not Overdo) It
You may be determined to make up for lost time, but doing too much can have so many detrimental effects, not least of all on your mental well-being. By trying to go at something full pace and doing too much, you will quickly realize that you maybe can’t because, well, you aren’t as fit as you once were and that will make you feel deflated and flat. So start with a very manageable aim, ambition and routine; something low intensity. Your body is not going to be used to this sudden extra exertion, so start steady, get the foundations laid, and build from there.
Make Yourself Comfortable
You are the only person that really knows your body, your mind and your comfort levels, so stick to what each of these is telling you. Perhaps you just want to start with a light jog once a week, or twice a week, that’s fine. Put a big fat red cross on your kitchen calendar and go from there; if that’s what you are comfortable doing. We spoke to a few orthopedic specialists and they were very clear about how the body works, and how it responds to consistency over time, especially when trying to avoid injury. Just remember, every marathon starts with a single step. You will get to working out four days a week if that’s your goal, but you have to be comfortable with one day first.
Three Is The Magic Number
Okay, let’s think about this for a minute. You’ve been out of action for however long – a week, month, year, decade – so you’ll not be fit. That’s the key; your fitness. So the three things you need to concentrate on is your endurance, your resistance and your flexibility. These are three core components to getting you closer your #fitnessgoals. It will also help you recover quicker and avoid any injuries or strains. If you’re serious about getting back into exercise and maxing out your fitness, then you are making a huge lifestyle choice so you need to be realistic about everything that comes with it.
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked
Whoever sang this song never exercised. Never. Your body needs and deserves to have a rest, especially when you are first getting back into the swing of things. Yin and Yang. Two sides to a coin. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So if you are going to exercise then you need to have recovery days. Even God had a rest day when building the earth. The thing to remember here is, while you are calling this a rest day, your body is not resting whatsoever. In fact, your body is working immensely hard to recover, replenish and fix itself. You’re putting yourself through a fair bit of new punishment, and so you need to prioritize your physical well-being.
Sleep, Sleep And More Sleep
If exercising after a hiatus is one thing, it is a shock to the system. It also saps you of your time and energy, which is probably why it is called WORKing out, and why you are going to feel so tired, to begin with. You are burning calories, you are using your muscles, you are piling on the pressure and without really giving it much warning. That’s where sleep comes in. Your body needs rest – physical rest – but it also desperately needs a mental break. That is why sleep is so important. Seriously, hitting that snooze button a few (or a dozen) times is not surrendering, it is your body saying it needs that little bit longer to recuperate. You can allow it that, can’t you?