3 tips for returning to exercise after a breakNov 17, 2023
1. Build it up slowly
- If you have been training regularly and you have just taken a few weeks off, I would recommend to go for 50% of what you were doing before.
For example, go to the gym 2-3 times a week (if previously your regular was 5-6 times a week)
- If you haven't been training for a really long time (2 months, 2 years, etc.), I would recommend starting really slowly.
For instance, you could start by adding a walk every day at lunch time, then you can start adding 1-2 gym sessions a week, and then maybe a yoga lesson the week after that. The idea is to layer the exercises up, so that you don't end up overwhelming your body.
2. Go Lighter
DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) will not be your friend if you have taken a while off of exercising. So, even if we have a number in our minds of what we used to lift, I would recommend dropping that number back a little bit for the first 1-2 weeks. This will give your body a chance to get used to and adapt to the resistance and the training load.
- For example, for yoga sessions, you can start with a slower, restorative class, as opposed to the strong vinyasa yoga flow.
- In the gym, you would be dropping your usual lifting weight to about 60-70%, depending on how you are feeling.
This way you are still getting a stimulus, but you are not overwhelming your body and leaving yourself feeling tired and depleted.
3. Changing your view on movement
Moving our body is something that we get to do, not have to do.
Not only is moving our body important for our physical health (heart health, bone health, building muscle, etc.), but it is also crucial for our social connections, our menthal health, for getting outside the house, making sure that we are getting fresh air and sunlight, etc.
Which is why it's so important to reframe exercise and training as something that we get to do and choose to do, rather than something to punish ourselves through.
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