Ok, so I let you have a week off of reading blogs and time to try the HIIT workouts. Are you addicted to working out yet?? Or are you too sore to walk up the stairs?? Hopefully the HIIT bug bit you and now you are en route to a lifestyle change. But with every route there are roadblocks, forks and D-tours.
If you were an advid workout junkie, but have been hibernating all COVID season, you are in luck! It’s never too late to get back into the groove of things, really it’s not!
The biggest battle you will have with yourself when you return to any physical activity is a mental one… the memory of how it used to be. It doesn’t matter if it has been weeks, months or years we all need to approach our return to working out the same.
‘I used to press 16 kgs so I’ll start with that weight again.’
‘I used to be able to run 15km no problem, lets pound it out’.
‘I can finish this workout in record time, watch me!’
No matter how long it has been since you last worked out, you need to remind yourself that it will not be how ‘it used to be’ right away. You will get there, I promise, but not the first workout back! We don’t want to put ourselves in a situation where we are potentially going to injure ourselves all because we couldn’t check the ego at the door (but IF you do hurt yourself, at least you know where to go to help with your recovery, wink wink).
Check below for my tips on getting back into the swing of things, trying to eliminate unnecessary injury!
Don’t over do it! Doing too much too soon can leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Your body is not prepared for the extra activity, so we need to gradually get there. Too much too soon is one of the biggest culprits for injuries within the initial stages of working out. What works for YOU?! If it’s one day a week that you can handle, great! You need to find the routine and schedule that works for you, not your friend and not your spouse.
3 key components. Your workouts as you return to them should be composed of a cardiovascular component, resistance training AND flexibility. Go at your own pace and listen to your body.
REST DAYS. A huge component of being active is rest. We need our bodies to heal and adapt to the demands that we are placing on it. Without adequate rest days your tissue never gets the chance to get stronger and replenish themselves, which will result in injury. Remember, this is a lifestyle change that you are creating and rest MUST be a part of that.
Take it slow, focus on your form. Quality over quantity is the biggest thing to remember at any stage of working out. Even seasoned veterans must be reminded of this point- be present during the move and pay attention to what you are doing. No checking out your pipes in the mirror.
Listen to your body. You are the only one that can tell what the move FEELS like. It may look good from a form perspective but if it is hurting then you need to find a new move. Minor muscle discomfort is ok, that's actually what we want to achieve, but when there is pain you need to stop.
Sleep. Working out is just that, work. It takes more time and energy which means in the beginning you may find yourself feeling a bit more fatigued during the days. We need to honor that signal from our body and ensure we are getting adequate sleep. Rest is restorative and when our tissues get a chance to replenish. Catching some extra zz’s will leave your body thanking you.
Set a goal. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. Specifical, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive. Use this approach to set a goal for yourself. To help with keeping yourself accountable, think about telling someone your goal! It’s easy to let ourselves down, but no one likes to let other people down!
So there you have it, my 7 tips to getting back to working out. Remember if you end up hurting yourself we are here for you. Let’s not have an injury keep you away from the gym for longer than it should.