Whether a self-imposed time out or a slump from the routine, returning to working can feel intimidating. Unlike before, when you knew the workout routine and the limits, it can feel like a whole new place or like starting as a beginner all over again.
Here are the tips to help you return to the gym without injuries, the risk of burning out or losing the momentum another time.
Take it easy
Rushing the resumption process is the easiest way to get injured. However, starting to push your body too soon puts too much pressure on the muscles, leading to overuse syndrome and other possible injuries like shin splints or tendinopathies.
If you had stopped training due to an injury or a medical condition, seek physician approval before resumption. Then, when ready, start with low-intensity exercises as you prepare the body for more intensity.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
The difference from when you stopped training to when starting again can be massive. The weights and intensity that might have seemed light can now see you cracking at the slightest push. So don’t take it out on yourself. Instead, focus on the positive that at least you are back to training.
The next step is finding the various beginner exercises to get your groove back. Start with a few minutes of strength training to isolate the different muscle groups. You can then step to the cardio exercises like the treadmill, bike or cross-trainer. Lastly, stretch off and loosen up for around 10 minutes to reduce body aches and pain.
Prepare for muscle soreness
Do you remember the painful muscles you had to endure in your earlier days of training? Well, expect them when you resume training after a long break. The muscles tend to reset back to the previous conditions when you fail to work out. By working out, the muscles have to tear and remodel as the body shape changes. This feeling is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
The intensity of DOMS varies among individuals. However, given you have been there before, you shouldn’t be fretting too much. And if you remember, the more you train, the lesser the pain becomes.
Get a trainer/ instructor
Getting back to training requires specific routines to ease you back into the fold. The best way to find the proper pattern is through instruction. If you need a little push, you can look for online information on how to get restarted. There are several Youtube channels, blogs and workout apps to look for.
However, if you have been away for an extended period, you might need a personal trainer. The trainer will help model for you a routine depending on your workout goals. They will also show you around the various machines until you have mastered everything. While a personal trainer can be costly to hire, take advantage of group fitness sessions.
The Bottom Line
Resuming workouts after a long break is more like taking beginning workouts. Take everything slow as you regain your past confidence, endurance and resistance.