There are many reasons exercise may fall to the wayside: injury, surgery, a major life event such as a divorce or death, demands of work or simply losing interest in an exercise routine can all disrupt your exercise schedule. Life is full of ups and downs and sometimes things gets in the way of consistent exercise and movement.
Here are five tips to help you get back on track:
Choose a Type of Movement
You don’t have to stick with the same type of exercise you have done in the past. Perhaps it’s time to try something new – maybe something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t. Think about your current lifestyle and what exercise would suit you best. There are so many different types of exercise. You may want to sample a few before you decide on an exercise plan.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t attempt to go from the couch to exercising 7 days a week overnight. This will often end up in injury and put you BACK on the couch. Instead come up with a plan that eases you back into consistent movement such as walking 2-3 days a week for 15-20 minutes. This primes your muscles and joints more effectively. It also gives you a “win” because it is manageable and you will succeed. This is great for your mindset and will keep you moving forward with your goals.
Focus on Consistency
One of the most important aspects of forming a new habit is to be consistent. So rather than working out once a week for 2 hours (and ending up sore and possibly injured) it is much better to exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes. Make a commitment to yourself to exercise a specific number of days a week and keep that commitment.
Get Support from Family and Friends
Let your family know what your new fitness goals are so they can support you. You may need others to take over some of the tasks around the house so you have time to exercise. Enlisting a friend to exercise with you can help keep you focused and can make exercise more fun.
Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods
You’ll need to make sure you are fueling yourself well when adding exercise back into your routine. Depending on what type of exercise you are doing you may need more protein than you are currently eating. Focusing on whole foods with adequate protein, lots of veggies and healthy fats will give you the energy you need to get through your workouts. Exercise is hard sometimes but it should be fun! Find something you enjoy doing and see how good it makes you feel to move.
Your Partner In Health!
Sara Yadlowsky, FMHC