Top tips for returning to exercise after a long break

© F. Cirou / PhotoAlto / Cover Images If you’re ready to begin exercising again

a woman in a blue shirt

© F. Cirou / PhotoAlto / Cover Images

If you’re ready to begin exercising again after a long break, make sure your mindset is right first.

Whether it’s due to an injury, illness, gyms closing during lockdown or simply a busy period with work, there are many reasons why we might not be able to work out for a while. But if you’ve been thinking about resuming your fitness schedule, there’s a few things to consider before you begin.

“Getting back into exercise after a long break can be very difficult, both physically and psychologically,” Jemma Thomas, a Personal Trainer and founder of Jemmas Health Hub, told Cover Media. “Often getting your mindset into the mood is the toughest part.”

Here are Jemma’s top tips on returning to exercise after a long break:

1. Don’t beat yourself up – Go at your own pace, remember that everyone is different so don’t rush yourself. Set small, achievable targets each week so that your body can get moving again.

2. Get into the right mindset and avoid scary social media posts – it’s so easy to scroll through social media and be intimidated by others, making you feel even worse! Please ignore it, only follow those who can offer genuine advice and support and never compare yourself.

3. Listen to your body – Once you start exercising again it’s important to acknowledge any aches and pains. If it’s bad, stop, or if you can push through and it’s fine then do. You know your body best!

4. Stretch – I can’t emphasise enough the need to stretch before and after exercise, whether you’re a regular exerciser or you’re just starting again. Making sure you’re fully warmed up and down will make such a difference to how you feel the next day.

5. Don’t weigh yourself, it’s often irrelevant. Fitness is down to how you feel, both mentally and physically. There are also loads of things that affect our weight – hormonal changes, how much sleep we got, what we ate and drank the day before – so don’t let it be the marker of success.

6. Make your exercise a part of everyday life. Most of us are working from home so our commute is a LOT shorter but why not walk to the shops instead of drive? Or spend some family time doing fun exercises like a bike ride. If you integrate exercise into your daily routine, you’ll gradually get fitter without even realising it!

7. Don’t do it alone. Working out with other people – whether that’s face to face or online can make a whole world of difference. During lockdown, The Hub experienced a 50 per cent rise in members as people were looking for ways to work out online, with a group. It makes you feel accountable for your workout, less isolated and supported as you post and share your workout worries and successes.

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