Whether you have fallen off the exercise wagon for two weeks or two years, getting back on is always the healthiest choice. You can reach your exercise goals if you persist. Professional triathlete Brendan Brazier, advises remembering the fundamentals of a successful training program: Breathe, warm up, stretch and hydrate. Although simple, when applied correctly, these fundamentals enable you to get a more effective workout. Take conscious steps to ease back into a daily workout routine.
Visit a personal trainer for an assessment. Today’s trainers are highly skilled professionals who can tailor a routine just for you, according to Roy Khoury, owner of RFK Training. If you don’t want to work with a trainer on a regular basis, adapt a program – developed by an expert – that creates an entertaining, challenging and motivating learning experience.
Write a commitment to exercise for 10 days in a row. Sara Haley, California independent fitness coach, says it takes 10 days to break a habit, so tell yourself that you just have to do this for 10 days. When the 10-day period ends, you’ll feel so great that you won’t want to stop. Even if you only succeed on seven of the 10 days, you will be better off than if you had done nothing at all. Eventually, you will be back on track.
Pack your diet with nutrient-dense foods to fuel your workouts. You may digest and assimilate natural, high-nutrition foods with less energy expenditure than processed, low-nutrition foods. This keeps your energy banks stocked and turns off your brain’s hunger signal. Pay attention to the pH levels in the foods you eat. Animal-based foods can generate cortisol, the stress hormone, and faltered immune production in excess, warns Brazier. Plant-based foods are alkaline forming and help sustain the cellular balance that you need to exercise effectively.
Schedule a workout just as you would dinner out with friends, suggests Haley. Plan the time, the place and the type of exercise you will do. Strive to exercise early in the morning, as events that distract you may surface later in the day. Set out workout clothes and a gym bag the previous night.
Warm up before you exercise. If you are just getting back into working out, you probably have tight areas that are knotted and painful. Khoury advises foam rolling, also known as “the poor man’s massage,” as a warmup technique. Warmups done with this cylindrical foam piece promote blood flow and help improve the quality of your muscle tissue, which is the long-term goal.
Train your weakness and race your strength, advises Brazier. Create a mental checklist and use it to identify athletic weaknesses as you work out. Develop them when you are training for an event, such as a marathon race, but turn off the self-criticism when performing, as it only hurts you at that point.
Exercise for 15 minutes, even if you can’t schedule a regular workout. Haley advises raising your intensity. If you do cardio, push yourself so it becomes harder to breathe sooner. If you lift weights, pick up heavier weights or shorten the time period between sets. You may find you get more done in 15 minutes than you usually do in a half hour.