So time to time for whatever reason we may have to take a break from exercising. Perhaps we are sick or travelling a lot or we suddenly become very time poor. I was watching an old Tony Robbin’s talk on You Tube the other day where he discusses how if someone builds up the habit to exercise and does it consistently for six months they are going to do it for the rest of their life! Because whenever they take a break or can’t exercise for whatever reason they are going to feel so bad without it in their life that they are guaranteed to start exercising again!
I had a week about a month where I was sick and didn’t exercise for the whole week – which is a long time if you are used to exercising everyday. When we reach a point of sickness it is really just your body saying ‘you need to take a break’ and if you are not prepared to do that then I am going to do that for you! If I had taken a day off and not kept going I am sure the sickness would not have dragged on for the whole week but I kept going and the sickness dragged on! I am now fully back into my exercise routine. Here are my tips for getting back into exercise after a break:
Start REALLY slowly: Start with gentle exercise like a walk or gentle yoga. Now is not the time to go hard with your exercise routine. Rebuilding the habit of exercising everyday is more important than what you do and how long you do it for.
Start small: If I am getting back into Yoga after a break I usually only start 15-20 minute daily sessions and then slowly build up again. Same with my running – I won’t run as far or push myself as hard if I am just getting back into it.
Make things easy for yourself: Lay out all of your exercise clothes the night before. This might sound basic and overused – but it works! If you see all of of your exercise gear ready and waiting the next morning there are less decisions to be made and less scrambling around looking for things so it makes the decision to exercise much easier!
Set some goals: It is good to have some overall focus that helps you get back into it. So you might have a new Yoga pose that you want to master or a specific distance that you want to run. Set a date, the break down what you want to achieve towards your goal weekly, then daily.
Track progress: You might set up a simple chart on the fridge or track progress with a special watch or app (Joe’s goals is a really simple one which I have used in the past). Regardless of how you do it it is important to hold yourself accountable and it is motivating to look back on your own progress.
Get a buddy: Sometimes it is easier to exercise with a friend or a family member at first. You can help to motivate each other and hold each other accountable.
How do you motivate yourself to get back into exercise after some time off? Please share below.
This interesting peice by Leo Baubata popped into my email inbox while I was writing this post!
(Photo: Jacob Repko)