Whether you stayed active during the restriction period or not, returning to exercise will feel foreign.
When our clients came back to New Image, there was a general feeling of excited trepidation.
Will I have lost fitness? Is it going to hurt?!
If you’re getting back into it, or you’re inspired post-isolation to get started on a health and fitness routine, my first piece of advice is the same: EASE IN. This is not a time to just randomly get stuck in, balls to the walls.
We want you in this for the long haul, so I want to help you make exercise safe, effective and even enjoyable.
Here are our top tips to get you back to movement successfully.
Most things in our busy lives have appointment dates and start times. The kids’ school bell, your dentist appointment, knock off time at work and even the TV program you watch with the family every evening.
When an activity’s scheduled, we prioritise it.
So why, in your busy day, would you expect time for exercise to just appear. Or even worse, wait to feel like it?!
You MUST book it in for it to happen. This is especially important when you’ve been out of the habit of regular exercise, and other activities have crowded out the time you once carved out for it.
Schedule your exercise regime! You don’t need to block out hours of your day. In fact you may only schedule 30 – 45 minutes to get a walk in, perform some body weight exercises at home or attend one of our 30 minute customised training sessions at New Image.
Just schedule it in and keep the booking with yourself.
Keep it simple and easy to start with. Set yourself up to win and feel accomplished with small, achievable goals.
The feeling you get when you tick items off your list is very empowering. In fact it’s proven that there’s a dopamine – or feel good – release when we complete action items we set for ourselves. This inspires you to take further positive action and creates a snowball effect of goodness.
On the flip side, if you make that list too hard to achieve or the exercise sessions are too intense, you may feel a sense of failure when you don’t stick to the plan.
Start off with a simple routine like this:
- Brisk walking or low intensity cardio sessions to build an aerobic base (cardiovascular fitness).
- 2x short and sharp strength training sessions per week. These could be a series of bodyweight exercises like squats, push ups, lunges and front planks. Primal movements will help your body make friends with resistance training. Then you can start adding external resistance such as weights, bands or a suspension trainer.
Rest and recover
It’s always important to listen to your body. But this is especially vital when you’re getting back into it, or getting started.
I don’t want you to go hard, hurt yourself or burn out, and then give up all together. Your goal should be longevity.
Build easier, unloading days into your week. In these sessions, you might just go for a walk and do some light stretching or pilates movements.
At New Image, we actively build recovery into your program to protect your body as you build it.
The great thing about keeping it simple to start is that you can build your exercise regime progressively as you go.
As is always the case with exercise, consistency trumps intensity every time. It’s what you do day in, day out over time that makes the real difference.
With a solid foundation of aerobic exercise and body weight exercises, you can now start to intensify your workouts or add more volume (time under load).
You can do this simply by adding time to your walks and runs, increasing the speed of your efforts or adding some weight to the existing body weight exercises by holding some dumbbells.
Whether or not you increase the load or volume, just KEEP GOING. Before you know it, you’ll be sticking to your schedule, checking off sessions and developing a sustainable and healthy exercise habit.
Want some extra guidance getting back into it? Or ready to get started on your active lifestyle? We’d love to help you. Click here to book a free session with one of our trainers.