For fitness lovers, exercise and diet are not just mere ‘aspects’ of their lives but their habits. The aching muscles, sweaty shirts, smell of protein shake, par boiled vegetables, tossed chicken and no-junk days are the things that excite them. They are so dedicated to their fitness needs that their entire schedule nestles around their carefully curated meals and workout routines. No wonder they endorse such beautifully toned bodies that never run out of stamina. Are you one of them? Or did you use to be?
We can truly understand your plight if you just saw a fast rewind of your glorious gym days while reading these few lines. You must be angry with yourself or depressed for derailing so drastically from your fitness path. It is time to stop missing the muscles you had before you were escorted on this unforeseen ‘workout break’. It doesn’t matter what the reason behind it was. What’s important is how to resume with your workout routine again.
What are the different scenarios for taking a break?
Injuries: This is the most unpredictable reason for going on a break. Your recovery time depends upon the injury which can break your morale completely making it difficult to make a comeback. Hence, injuries are not just physically taxing but also emotionally scarring for any health lover.
Come Back Tip: Your body will now have new limitations and it advisable to not push them. Before you resume workout after an injury, have a proper discussion with your doctor and physical trainer. Do not feel slighted if you are not able to lift weights and maintain intensity that you could before the injury. Respect your body’s limitations and work out accordingly.
Pregnancy: We all know for a fact that pregnancy changes a woman physically and mentally. She cannot workout like she used to and is left with basic stretches and mild cardio in her workout routine. Labour can subject her body to surgeries too. While body and mind both are exhausted, it will require huge motivation to enter the gym.
Come Back Tip: Even if you resume as early as possible, you will still be coming after a year-long break. The post pregnancy weight, muscle aches and poor stamina will be evident. Consult your doctor and physical trainer on the kind of exercises you can do to recover from postpartum fatigue. If your doctor suggests supplementation, please go for it. Do not pick up any product without consultation if you are breast feeding.
Work: You must be working out with dedication for weeks and then all of a sudden you are burdened with work, more client expectations, over time etc. Balancing work and health becomes difficult and you eventually end up skipping gym and diet entirely. This loss of health, shape and morale can make it impossible to resume.
Come Back Tips: Try enrolling for your office gym or a local one around your office. Incorporate office-exercises in your schedule. See if you can make time for a morning quick jog or run. Avoid elevators and take stairs and stay handy with healthy snacks to avoid junk binge.
Travel: You could be travelling for leisure or work. Such health lovers work out with dedication while in their home city. However, as they travel to other places they are not able to focus on workout or diet. The excitement of a new place, the flavours of the new cuisines, work pressure etc. keep them away from the gym and kitchen.
Come Back Tips: When travelling pay extra attention to diet. Avoid binging. Keep healthy snacks handy. Salads, fruits and milk don’t require cooking. Hence include them more in your diet to keep your nutrition under check.
How to resume workout after you had taken a break?
Let’s just quickly look at these 5 steps that can help you to get out of your break.
Starting over again is the toughest thing you would ever do. While gym can look overwhelming after a long break, a jog may be not. So get up and go for a run or may be just a brisk walk. Move out and feel the outdoors as often as you can. The sweat will make you feel rejuvenated and may motivate you to hit the gym positively.
No one says that you need go to the gym and start doing your 40-pound chest press straightaway.
Start with the basics again. Go for smaller sets, lesser weights so that your muscle memory is set in motion. Get active on tread mill to regain your stamina. You will soon be able to workout efficiently.
Exercise may seem overwhelming after a break especially if you had an injury or were pregnant. In such cases, don’t overexert your compromised body. Instead start focusing on the diet. Eat healthy, have your macros and increase fluid intake. Healthy diet will start having its effect on your mood as well, and you might just move out with your gym bag soon.
A gym buddy makes it easier for you to take on challenges. His/her constant motivating presence makes you go that extra mile. So when you are planning to return from break ask your gym buddy to tag along and keep boosting you with ‘You can do it’ slogans.
Feeling good about yourself is key to fitness. Get yourself a new gm suit, nice shoes, a funky sipper and a neon bag. Get in your gear and give yourself an admiring look in the mirror. Won’t you look amazing with that on while chasing miles on a treadmill? So go for it.
Hope these tips make your come back easier and more effective. Even if it takes time make sure you give your health another chance.