How to get back to working out after taking a break from the gym

How to get back to working out after taking a break from the gym

Remember not to push yourself too hard

Getting back into working out when you have taken time off is intimidating, and you might be tempted to jump in and go right back to your pre-hiatus routine. The problem is, this sets you up to get burnt out quickly, so it is a better option to return to a workout programme in a progressive manner.

Keep in mind that your level of progression is largely based on your total time off, the reason for the break (surgery, work, children), and your level of fitness prior to it.

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. Here are three types of exercises that can ease you back into your gym routine.

Start with flexibility and mobility workouts

Your first progressive step forward should be to integrate a couple days of flexibility and mobility workouts into your week, in order to increase blood flow and circulation. These workouts also assist in progressing your range of motion and joint mobility.

Flexibility and mobility can decrease your chance of injury, so it’s important to get into the habit of performing these workouts so that your body can properly readjust to the new demands that will be placed on it as you do more exercises to get back in shape.

Add some easy cardio

Next, depending on your schedule and time commitment, try incorporating light cardiorespiratory workouts after a couple of stretching or yoga sessions. If weather permits, a brisk 20-minute outdoor walk will help invigorate your mind and get your body moving again.

If you would rather stay inside, the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike are great indoor alternatives. And if you had a well-established fitness base prior to a month-long break, your first week may include light jogging as opposed to walking — but remember not to push yourself too hard.

Start strength training

After the first week of flexibility and light cardio, start to incorporate strength workouts into your routine. Your time away from fitness probably involved a lot of sitting, which causes weakness in your posterior chain.

Exercises such as squats, lunges, bridges, stability ball mobility, and core work will help to activate these areas. Bodyweight workouts are also ideal for working these muscles, and they create a safe transition back into your fitness regimen.

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