Ease Back into Exercise with These 5 Steps
Whether it’s due to a hectic schedule, traumatic event, stressful holiday season or demanding work situation, life happens.
When priorities temporarily are forced to shift, physical activity may move to the bottom of your to-do list.
“The hardest part about exercise is getting started, but once you start moving, it’s hard to stop because it makes your body feel good,” says Ariimana “Mana” Temanaha, exercise physiologist with Straub Medical Center’s Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease™.
Temanaha advises keeping those positive feelings in mind as you begin working back toward a consistent exercise routine.
“Motivation will get your fitness journey started, but discipline and consistency will get you to the finish line,” he says.
Here are five ways to help you get back on track:
- Find a workout buddy. Whether you prefer competition, encouragement or a combination of the two, finding a workout partner that compliments and challenges your current physical abilities can help keep you focused when your program gets trying. Pairing up also is a good way to keep each other accountable.
- Know what motivates you. There is no right or wrong answer, but think of a reason that will inspire you to work hard even when you feel like having a lazy day. When times get tough – and they will – you need to remember why you started and remind yourself you are strong enough to push through!
- Visualize. It’s important to make long-term and short-term goals, but it’s helpful to see yourself achieving said goals, too. Simply close your eyes and imagine yourself conquering the little victories. This strategy can help your achieve real-life results.
- Take it slowly. So you finally have the drive to achieve your goals. Great! You probably have a lot of energy now to match this determination, but it’s extremely important to slowly get back to the grind. Coming back too quickly from even a two-week break can cause excessive muscle soreness, fatigue and injury. Record your workouts to see consistency and monitor progress.
- Have fun! There will be many ups and downs on your fitness journey. This sometimes can be frustrating, but negativity will just set you back more. The most important thing to remember is to keep a positive mindset and continue to have fun!
"Fitness can be like a roller coaster sometimes – we have good days feeling ready to exercise, and bad days feeling sluggish. The main thing is that you’re pushing through everyday doing the best that you can to be active to reach those long-term fitness goals,” Temanaha says. “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! So make sure you don’t lose what you worked so hard to build.”
Published on: January 30, 2023