Training advice for when you’re ready to get back into shape

Ready to get back into shape?
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Rare is the person who doesn’t take a break from fitness routines. Breaks occur because of illness, injury, changes in work or home life, and reduced motivation. At some point, though, you have to decide to get out of sedentary habits and get back into a healthy routine.

Whether or not you need to lose weight, you should exercise regularly. Exercise reduces the chance for diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, or stroke. It also improves sleep patterns and releases endorphins, which are the “happy” chemicals in your brain. As with the old saying, “it takes money to make money,” it takes putting energy into exercise to get improved energy in your life. So, are you ready?

Check your health

If your exercise has been disrupted because of illness or injury or if you have been sedentary a long time, check with your doctor. You don’t want to make things worse by re-injuring something or overdoing an activity. After all, while snow shoveling is a wonderful exercise, it can cause a heart attack in a mostly inactive person who has to clear a sidewalk a few times a year. Try to find a sports physician who can advise you on a routine that would specifically benefit you.

Choose a sport (or two)

Most people have an affinity for a particular exercise or sport. Some people enjoy competitive games like tennis and others love individualized activities such as running or bicycling. Choose something you enjoy, and also choose activities that address muscles that your main activity doesn’t. For example, golf is great exercise, especially when you don’t use a golf cart. But you may want to add cardiovascular exercise and strength training to your golf game.

Consider how exercise will fit into the rest of your life. It’s great to plan to swim, for example, but if you have to drive fifteen minutes to the pool and your life is busy, then maintaining that routine will be challenging. If, however, you find a pool that is close to where you work, then it will be somewhat easier to stop at the pool on your way. You might want to have some exercise equipment at home and you might also consider walking or running, which are less challenging to schedule.

Get the gear

Good athletic gear helps you to enjoy your exercise routine because it prevents pain and injury. A long ride on a bicycle that fits you is far more pleasant than a short ride on a bike that is too small, too large, or not fitted properly. Likewise, your walks or runs will be shortened if your feet are killing you. Get good shoes that fit your feet. They are definitely worth the money.

Athletic clothing also helps you to have a great time when you are exercising. Improper clothing can lead you to get the chills from wet clothing due to sweat. Clothing that wicks away perspiration is a must. You may also want to consider wearing compression clothing for support. Using compression wear, such as the clothing made by Tommie Copper – as explained on his YouTube channel – while you exercise can reduce aches and pains both during and after your workout.

Ease into a routine

Get started slowly on your new exercise habit. Have a goal to work towards. For example, you could start with five to ten minutes of walking with a goal of eventually walking for an hour as you get back into shape.

Pay attention to motivation

The way to keep going with an exercise routine is to listen to your mind’s signals about motivation. If you are feeling resistance towards getting started, then you need to figure out why that resistance is there and address it. For instance, you might want to exercise with a friend or spouse, or your challenges for getting started might be because you feel physically bad when you are done.

See what you can do to reduce these problems, such as backing off a little on a goal or improving your technique. Probably the biggest barrier to continuing exercise is boredom. Find ways to change your exercise. If you run, choose a new route. Try a completely different form of exercise to keep your mind motivated.

Exercise for life

With the right choices about how you do it, you can establish a fitness habit that will improve your health and keep you healthy for the long run. You will also enjoy your workout routine rather than dread it so that you can sustain your habit across years and decades.