Finding The New You: Getting Back to Exercise
For awhile there, you were on fire. You saw the progress, results, and other goodness that results from regular exercise. But then it happened. You got sick, injured, overworked, or maybe just downright lazy. Whatever your “it” is, there’s hope! These tips will help you refocus, and have you back on track in no time.
The biggest problem coaches tend to see with clients is burn out. Most of them come in saying, “I’ve gained weight!” Or, “I haven’t worked out in weeks!” They beg instructors to give them their most killer workout. As if one session will instantly solve weeks of inactivity. This mentality is actually much more likely to lead injury and intense muscle trauma and soreness. And that leads to discouragement and negative feelings associated with exercise. Talk about a cycle for disaster! Recognize the importance of pacing yourself back into shape.
“Cardio fitness starts to diminish slightly within three days,” says Michele Olson, PhD, CSCS, a professor of exercise science at Auburn University. After taking several weeks off from cardio training, it is best to ease back into your routine. Drastically increasing your cardio pace, duration, and intensity can lead to injury and/or sickness.
“Recognize the importance of pacing yourself back into shape.”
Coach Aaron shares his personal experience…
“I still remember my failed last-minute attempt to get in shape for a marathon in Saint George, Utah last September. I was supposed to be slowly increasing the distance I ran each week. But I missed a few weeks of training, and thought I’d make up for those off weeks by running a couple extra miles in the final weeks before the marathon. I decided I would just do one extra-long run. The run was a success! However, as you can imagine, the effects were a complete disaster. I couldn’t even roll out of bed the next day. My legs — and throat — were in agony. Sickness and stiffness combined made my training go from bad to catastrophic. Lesson learned: Sprinting doesn’t prepare you for a marathon. Pace yourself back into shape.”
So, when you’re returning to exercise after a break, we recommend moving at a pace that is 10-20 percent slower than your normal pace. Be sure to take plenty of water breaks. And — above all — read your body. If you recognize a sore throat coming on, feelings of irritability, insomnia, or persistent muscle soreness, there’s a good chance you’re overtraining, and on the brink of burnout.
If you think working out is no fun, you just haven’t found the right form of exercise for you. There are so many options out there: rowing, swimming, yoga, TRX, high intensity interval training (HIIT), group fitness classes, workout DVDs, and — our personal favorite — Gixo! If you enjoy camaraderie, try Crossfit. If your job stresses you to the max, try yoga. If you have limited time, try HIIT. We promise that if you fall in love with the process, the results come. Most of the time it’s a matter of experimenting to find a routine you love.
Stop focusing on how fit you used to be
It’s not easy. We know. But focus on the present, not the past. Choosing to do even a few minutes of exercise today is better than not exercising at all simply because you think you can’t be as strong or fit as you used to be. Start tracking your progress now. From today forward, it will only get better. Track your improvement, measure your success, and — above all — embrace positive change. With this mentality, you will surpass the old you to become your stronger, fitter, and healthier future self.
Remember, before it happened, you were in a good place. With some patience and effort, these tips will help you get back to the vision of health and fitness you want to be. (And don’t forget, Gixo can help!)