If you have wanted to start working out again after a long break, maybe months, years probably a long time, consider that as one of the best decisions you’ve made. You might have been busy, tired, or lost motivation to work out. It’s never too late to start again but first, there are things to consider before you start exercising again.
There is this joke I have with my friends about being in shape. We like to use it to talk each other out of unhealthy eating. ‘It’s so easy to gain weight than to lose it, if you keep eating like that, you’ll be overweight’.
Sometimes putting on weight doesn’t require an effort (that is if you don’t have the genetics to keep you slim even after overeating). That might be a joke between friends but it is a reality. To help you be in the desired shape you must eat healthily. But eating healthy ain’t enough. You need exercise.
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If you want to jump back into exercising after a long while here is what you must consider first.
• Consult a doctor.
If you have any health problems, maybe joints or muscle pain, see your doctor before starting your workout plan. This will help you understand better what will work best for your situation and what does not fit.
This is important because, in most of the inactivity state that your body is in, it becomes easy to experience a strain or an injury with a particular program that you want to start following. A doctor will give you the best recommendation on how to avoid these injuries and how you can benefit best from your workouts.
• Have your goals
If you don’t have clear goals, you are going to stop again after some time. Why are you working out? Is it to gain strength, keep in shape, and lose weight. Whatever it is you have to keep it in mind or put it on a post-it board so that you can be reminded each day. This will not only keep you motivated but will also help your consistency.
Put your goals on a piece of paper and put them in an open space where you can see them. Or you can post it on the wall on a board to help you remember the reason you have started working out again.
• Put in a clear schedule
Nothing is possible without a proper schedule. Being organized is the only way you won’t get tired of your exercises. Put down what you are going to do each day of the week. Put a variety of different workouts to help you balance the exercises with different muscles and also to prevent you from getting bored (it happens all the time).
Make sure this schedule is only a few minutes to help you manage even on days when you are busy or tired from your daily activities.
• Get all accessories you’ll need
If you’ll work out at the gym, most of the equipment will be at your disposal. But if you prefer home workouts like me, you need to get a few accessories that will fresh up those boring and tiring workouts.
These accessories will also help keep your exercises a bit challenging and fun. They could be jump ropes, dumbbells, weights, resistance bands, and yada yada.
How to start exercising after a long time
If you got all the above set out, it’s time that you go for it. You won’t be ready until you start.
1. Start slowly
Working out after a long break, I’d say comes with a lot of risks. Like I said before, injuries, sore muscles and burnout are all part of it. That will only happen if you start full force. You are supposed to start slow.
Go with easy workouts, use a few minutes to exercise, all this effort is to make the body get used to the whole new process with exercise. This is so important to consider and as time goes on can keep adding the intensity of the workouts.
2. Start with a warm-up
Before you start any tough workout make sure you start with an easy warm-up. You can do a bit of stretching to discard the stiffness from your muscles, for flexibility and keeping the body prepared for any kind of exercise you want to try.
3. Practice stretching exercises or yoga
Low-intensity exercises are a good option if you want to start exercising when out of shape. This is because the exercises do not induce much overload to the muscles.
This helps to prevent injury and keep you engaged for results. One of the best exercises is stretching exercises that can work as a warm-up or as a core workout.
A good example is a yoga. Yoga is good for flexibility and even losing weight. There are a lot of good yoga courses out there. One of my favorite one is Yogaburn with Zoe Bray- Cotton you can learn about it here
3. Strength exercises
If your interest is going for strength training, the path is still the same. Start slow. Because you have not worked out in a long time when you start you will probably be a beginner.
For a beginner, the easiest program is usually the best. This is to help the body to adapt the training program, avoid injury, and progress.
So begin strength training with a simple program that uses relatively low volumes, few exercises, and simple loading patterns. The growth might be slow but you will achieve great results.
After that, you can start to adopt a more complex program and increase the intensity. Always remember you need time to rest. Don’t work out all the time (it won’t do you any good).
4. Change your diet
I told you how my friends and I talk each other out of unhealthy eating. Why? Because it is useless to work out while eating loads of junk food. You won’t get back in shape by just exercise without adjusting your diet. Exercise and diet are like an arrow and a bow.
Exercise alone will take a very long long time to burn unwanted fat that you keep building with food. Get a tailored reliable meal plan that is effective. Cut out processed foods from your diets and increase your vegetable and fruit intake. And oh! Don’t forget to take about two liters of water each day.
5. Don’t forget your rest days
Starting again can be fun and it can have a lot of vibes that you won’t want to miss another day. I know. Just to tell you that that is unhealthy. Don’t neglect your rest days. These are called the recovery days.
It’s the time your body gets to recover from all the stains from exercising. It’s also the time when you will recover your energy for more sessions.
One or two days is enough for a rest day given that the exercises you will be doing will be of low intensity.
6. Get a personal trainer
If you are not a DIY person (as how some of us are not), just get a personal trainer. It will save you time looking for a workout plan and meal plan that will work best. It is also easy as they are experienced and can determine the best workouts that will bring you back in shape.
Get a personal trainer here at an affordable rate. They will help you customize your workouts, exercise schedules, meal plans and help motivate you to keep moving rather than when you’ll be alone.
Having an off-and-on relationship with exercise is quite understandable so you don’t have to spend your life in the gym after you get back to it again. Once your body has adopted a particularly easy program move to a difficult one that could challenge your muscles even more.
Remember you have to go slow to avoid injuries and achieve greater results that will get back you back in shape. That’s it for now, if you have a comment you can air it out in the comment section.