For anybody embarking on a new exercise routine, it can feel like a major struggle. For those people who are starting to exercise again after a self-enforced break, or due to injury, it can feel as much of a struggle. For those who have settled back into a lifestyle of unhealthiness, it can be a big shock to the system. But how can you ease yourself back into it without wanting to give up a month later?
Train like a beginner
It all depends on how much time you've had off, but you are best off training as a beginner at the very outset, even if you still have some of your strength. It's very unlikely that you've lost a lot of your strength unless you've been away from the gym for so long, but it's still important for you to take it easy.
Don't overdo it right away
You can feel tempted to push it that little bit further because of your experience, but this is the quickest route to injury. Keep the intensity low, around 50% to 60% of your ability, and you can gradually push the intensity every time you go back. If you overdo it right at the start, you could injure yourself, or you could easily find yourself biting off more than you can chew, which will put you off going back anytime soon.
Recruit the rehabilitating muscle
If you are returning from an injury, be sure to recruit the muscle fibres around the injury, so, for example, if you have a specific injury, such as fasciitis in your foot, be sure to check on that injury after one set of exercises. For example, an exercise like a squat puts a lot of pressure on your heels. You can help to lessen the load on your feet by purchasing items like fasciitis insoles or by purchasing shoes that have more cushion, but if you've got a very specific injury, it's far better for you to check in on that injury as you go. If you find yourself suffering a twinge of pain, then rest that body area. That's not to say that you don't need to exercise every other muscle around the injury, but you need to be careful not to aggravate the problem any further.
Take rest days
If you are ready and raring to go, the temptation could be to go wholeheartedly into a new exercise routine, but again, this is where people can overdo it. Instead it's much better for you to go little and often, and build yourself back up. Even if you were making positive headway before, it's still appropriate for you to have rest days. At the very beginning, make sure that you are taking a day off at the very least in between gym or exercise sessions. And, as well as this, take on board the standard advice, make sure you refuel adequately, and eat right!
Getting back to exercise after a long time can feel like a considerable mountain to climb, but some people can make the mistake of thinking they can slot back easily into their routine. Instead, take it easy to begin with, and build your strength up.