Back to fitness — our top five tips

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Return safely — take it sensibly and don’t rush.

So what can you expect after experiencing this setback to your previous fitness levels? Well, most importantly you want to return safely to your training and gym routines.

Returning to fitness, my top five tips:

1. Start at 60.

Whatever numbers you are used to training at, reduce them down to 60%. Over the course of the first four weeks back, you can then increase by up to 10% before testing your limits. For example if you are used to squatting 50kg for 10 reps, start at 30kg for 10 reps and increase up to 35kg by week two and so on. Or, if you are used to running 5km in 20 mins, then start your first run paced to finish in 28 mins and then by week two aim for 26 mins etc.

2. Allow yourself recovery days.

If you used to train daily, then start with a recovery day in between each training day. This can be a day of rest or a lighter training day incorporating something like swimming, walking, flexibility or yoga. Your body will need recovery as it is reminded and retrained into repairing itself after your workout days.

3. Look after your body.

Your body will need to adjust to its new training routine again, so look after your body to optimise your training and recovery. You can do this by staying hydrated, stretching in your free time, eating balanced meals including proteins, sleeping well, and meditation if this works for you.

4. Be careful with explosive exercises.

There are many types of training techniques that cause the body to use full force, such as sprinting or plyometric movements. These are very effective training techniques and can really help to achieve specific goals, but be cautious about starting them in your first few weeks of getting back to training. Once you’ve had a few weeks back, you can safely ease them into your training routines again.

5. Listen to your body.

If you start to feel any pain or discomfort while you do a specific exercise then stop! Your body is trying to tell you it is not ready. Yes you will have aches and pains in your muscles after working out and this is normal. But there is a difference between a post-workout ache and pain or discomfort caused by something being wrong. It may be that your body is simply not ready yet, or it could be bad form. Whatever the case, stop and rest — and if needed, get it checked.

Finally, enjoy the feel good!

You will love getting back to fitness, and you will see and feel the benefits of working out and becoming healthier.

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