How To Get Back In Shape When You Haven’t Worked Out In A Long Time

Once upon a time, you had a steady and impressive workout routine. Several times a week for a few hours a visit you could be found at the gym and never felt healthier and stronger—but then, life happened. Maybe your work situation changed or maybe you got sick or were injured. Whatever the case, your routine came to an unexpected halt and getting motivated to get back in shape has been no less than challenging. If only you knew where to start and what to do so the intimidation of getting back into the zone wouldn’t be so heavy. Here we’ve listed some top fitness tips to help ease your mind as you work your way back up the fitness ladder and get back in shape.


Turn Your Workout Intensity Down

Even after a short break from consistently working out, it can be a big surprise to see just how much conditioning you’re body has lost. In fact, many are surprised to learn that it only takes 2-3 days to start diminishing fitness levels when referring to cardio strength and conditioning. Luckily, cardio exercises are also the quickest way to regain fitness, respectively. If you haven’t worked out in a week or longer, a healthy way to bounce back is to reduce the intensity of your workout by a minimum of 20%. You must allow yourself some recovery time to avoid straining your body and increasing chances of experiencing an injury. If you normally would work out for 30 minutes straight before taking a break to continue for another 30, break that in half and take a break for water at around 15-20 minutes. Pick up your workout for another 15-20 minutes after your water break and end the workout at 30-40 minutes rather than at the normal 1-hour time-frame.

Having your body composition measured to determine the proportion of fat and fat-free mass in your body is always recommended at the start of any weight loss or fitness program when seeking to properly get back in shape. Dietary counseling from a health professional with special training in nutrition is also extremely helpful in determining the best eating habits to adopt when getting back in shape.


Be Picky About Your Workout Moves

Workouts to get back in shape will require you to be choosy about the moves you do when working out. Take advantage of total-body exercises like squats and push-ups instead of back in shape workout routines that focus on one muscle or body part at a time. Avoid fast movements, jumping and twisting until your cardio strength is replenished. Last but not least, remember that if you’ve gained weight to take precaution when engaging in high-impact activities, as carrying extra body weight will cause wear and tear on your joints and you want to decrease risks of injury at all times. Swimming, low-impact aerobics, weight-lifting and cycling are great options to get back in shape if you’re heavier than your ideal weight.


Develop a Realistic Time-frame to Reach Fitness Goals

The longer you break from working out, the more time you’ll need to allow for a strong comeback. No matter what you do, don’t rush the process. Rushing can actually slow you down and set you back if an injury is caused. Make small increments in progress and build your way up to your normal routine and intensity level. A realistic time-frame to get back in shape should depend on the frequency worked out before the break. If you used to consistently workout 3 times a week, allow yourself a minimum of 4 weeks to start seeing your body regain its strength. Allow up to 8 weeks to see it in all its glory. The more time you give yourself to get back in shape rather than rushing to see fast physique results, the better your comeback will be.


Don’t Focus On How Fit You Once Were

Getting back into shape and committing to the fitness routines can be discouraging when your body is weak from your long break from working out—especially if you remember very clearly how fit you used to be. As a rule of thumb, it’s very important to focus on the present rather than on the past. You’ve made a decision to get back in shape and that’s the start of your new journey and the reward will be plentiful for seeing it through. Track your performance and enjoy the process as you see it improve. Set a goal for yourself and concentrate on how fit you will be rather than focusing on how fit you used to be. What matters now is only how fit you’ll become. You can even treat yourself at the end of your fitness milestone as a reward for all your hard work. Deep tissue, four-hand body massage, anyone?


It’s essential to speak with your physician or another health care professional before starting any type of fitness system to determine if it’s right for you and meets your specific health needs. To speak with Dr. Symonett, a health care professional of more than 20 years and discover which fitness routines will fit your lifestyle or to learn about the center’s 10-week program that gives you more energy and helps boost metabolism to aid in shedding unwanted pounds, schedule an appointment online or call (909) 786-9213 during normal business hours.

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