Getting back into working out can feel challenging, especially after a long break. But with the right mindset and motivation, it doesn’t have to be. Truth is, many people struggle with how to start exercising again and may not know where to begin. The key is to set your goals straight, start small, and build on your progress. Even if you can only commit to a few minutes of exercise each day, that can still be beneficial.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to how to get back into working out, we’ve got you covered with a few tips below. With consistency, effort, and dedication, you can get back into working out.
Finding your motivation can make a significant impact on getting back into your regular exercise routine. Asking yourself why you want to start working out again can help you find your motivation. It could be to improve your health, to feel better, to look better, to get stronger and build muscle mass, or to have more energy. Knowing your why will help you stay motivated and on track when things start to feel challenging again.
When it comes to starting up your fitness routine again, setting goals can be a helpful way to stay motivated. Start by identifying what you want to accomplish by working out again. Whether your goal is to build muscle, improve strength and endurance, or simply stay active, having a clear objective in mind can help guide you along your journey.
Once you have identified your goal, break it down into smaller, more achievable targets. For example, if your overall goal is to build muscle, you could set specific goals for how many days each week you want to work out and what type of exercises you’ll do. When setting goals for yourself, make sure they are realistic and attainable so you don’t become unmotivated.
In addition to short-term goals, think about what you want to accomplish in the long run. While it is important to focus on small successes, it can also be helpful to keep your big picture in mind.
Create a Workout Plan
Now that you’ve set your goals and found your motivation, you can now create a weekly workout plan. Having a set plan allows you to stay focused and helps keep you motivated.
Your plan should incorporate exercises that will help you achieve your goals. If weight loss is your goal, for example, you can split up your week into days of cardio and days of light strength training. If building muscle mass and strength is the reason behind getting back into the gym, you can split up your days by working on different muscle groups and different heavy-strength training exercises. When in doubt, you can include a combination of cardio and strength training.
Remember that since you’re starting back up with your routine, be sure to keep it simple and stick to low-impact activities as you work your way up. Low-impact activities can include walking, biking, swimming, or yoga. If your goal is to build and strengthen your muscles, you can start by doing bodyweight exercises and slowly incorporate weights into your exercises as you go. Don’t be afraid to make changes if necessary. Listen to your body and adjust as needed to prevent injury.
Take it Slow
When getting back into a workout routine, it’s important to start slow and steady. When you’ve been out of practice for a while, your muscles need time to adjust to the movements and intensity you’ll be doing. Incorporating low-intensity exercises or workouts for beginners can be a great way to start out. Remember to take it slow and focus on proper form, especially when it comes to weightlifting exercises. Doing too much too quickly can cause muscle soreness, strain, and injury.
It’s also important to give your body time to rest between workouts. Taking a day off after exercising will help your muscles recover before working out again. This will also give you an opportunity to evaluate how your body is feeling and make adjustments as needed. With patience and dedication, you can slowly progress to higher-intensity workouts and start seeing results.
Incorporate Exercise into Your Daily Routine
Another way to ease into working out again is to make physical activity part of your daily routine. You don’t have to jump right into a full workout routine. The key, as always, is to start small and build up. Start by setting aside just a few minutes each day to do something active—even if it’s just going for a quick walk or jog.
Try to be consistent with your routine. Make sure you’re staying active a few times a week. Having a schedule that you stick to can also help you stay motivated, accountable, and on track.
Don’t Forget to Stretch and Rest
As you get back into being active again, don’t forget to stretch before and after any physical activity and to rest when your body tells you to. Stretching is an important part of any workout routine because it helps prevent injury, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle soreness. By stretching out before a workout, you’re helping prepare your muscles for activity and improve your range of motion. After your workout, static stretching can help reduce muscle tightness and restore the normal length of your muscles.
When stretching, make sure to hold each stretch for at least 15-30 seconds and focus on slow, controlled movements. Take deep breaths as you move into each stretch and hold for the duration of the stretch. Also, make sure to stretch both sides evenly, and don’t forget to pay attention to your neck, shoulders, hips, and back.
Resting is another important part of any workout routine and shouldn’t be overlooked. Rest days give your body and muscles a chance to recover from your session and help prevent injury. Allowing your body to rest can help reduce muscle soreness, build strength, and increase performance. On rest days, you can take time to stretch lightly and give your body a break from intense workouts. Yoga, meditation, or even just taking a short walk are all good ways to unwind and recharge.
Getting Back into Exercising
Working out again, whether it’s after an injury or a period of inactivity, can feel challenging and can leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. The goal is to start slow and steady and set a clear plan of what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it. Don’t forget to reward yourself for reaching your goal! Acknowledge your progress and the hard work you put in to help you stay on track. Give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while for all your effort!
If you need help getting back on the journey, we’ve got you covered at StrongBodyHub. Whether it’s finding a personal trainer or joining fitness classes, there are plenty of ways to make the journey enjoyable. Find a location near you and start today.
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at StrongBodyHub and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.