Even after you have worked hard to develop a balanced routine, you’ll find that it’s not always easy to keep it. Life happens, work happens, injuries happen, setbacks happen. . . sometimes squeezing a workout in just feels impossible! And although you tell yourself this is just a minor blip, sometimes it’s hard to get back into your fitness routine once you’ve stopped.
But, it’s possible!
Regardless of what’s gotten in your way, returning to your practice and realigning with your fitness goals doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions to get back on track:
1. Prepare the Night Before
While you might have all these hopes and plans of a workout the night before, you may feel differently the next day. This is a psychological block that affects many people when they try to get back into fitness! But you can overcome it by getting everything ready the night before.
Pack your gym bag, set out your clothes, and even prep a pre-workout drink, smoothie, or small snack. While you may not feel like exercising after work (or first thing in the morning), you’ll be thankful you pushed yourself to do it, and you can start to build a rhythm.
2. Start Easy
One major mistake many people make when coming back to their fitness routine is trying to go as hard as they did before. Your body will not be used to intense workouts, so it’s better to start easy to prevent aggravating your muscles and joints.
Going at 60% of what you were used to is a good place to start, and it gives you an idea of how much you’re capable of doing (without pushing yourself too hard). If you take it easy for the first few sessions, you can always increase the weight, speed, or intensity once you feel comfortable.
3. Try a One-Month Challenge
If you’re trying to get back into your fitness routine but aren’t sure where to start, a 30-day challenge can be highly beneficial. This is often a good option when you don’t feel comfortable going back to your previous routine or simply because you feel stuck or stagnant where you are.
Still, as you get comfortable with your challenge, continue to increase intensity as the days go on. Encourage yourself to continually improve and hold yourself accountable.
4. Workout With Someone Else
Workout buddies aren’t for everyone, but if you’re someone who needs a little push to get into shape again, consider speaking to friends or family (or even joining a fitness club). Exercising with other people can add accountability and ensure you attend and enjoy yourself, which puts you back into the groove. Plus, you may even make some new friends along the way!
5. Remind Yourself Why You Do It
If you’re struggling to motivate yourself to exercise, you can try reminding yourself why you started in the first place (your ‘why’). Everyone has a different reason why they get into fitness—from weight loss and building muscles to even improving their mental wellbeing and mindset.
If you’ve noticed any negative changes to your lifestyle since you’ve been away from exercise, this can be the motivator you need to get back into it (regardless of how much your brain tells you otherwise!). While it’s difficult to get off the starting line, you’ll feel grateful once you reach the end.
6. Avoid Making The Same Mistakes
Sometimes the reasons you’ve been away aren’t your fault, but you can still consider what issues led to you being off of your schedule. Perhaps you pushed yourself too hard or exercised in poor conditions. Maybe you’re just dealing with more obligations and schedules than solely your own. Or, perhaps you’ve sustained an injury and needed to work through it. Whatever the reason, consider if you can avoid these roadblocks (as best as you can!) now you’re back.
Dive Back In
A consistent and effective fitness routine is one of life’s greatest joys, which is why it’s so frustrating when you need to take time away. But, you don’t need to lose all your progress and hard work. As long as you ease your way back in, it will soon feel like you’ve never been away, allowing you to reach your goals and push yourself even further.