5 Ways to Ease into A Fitness Routine After a Long Break 

Whether the long break from exercise is due to an illness, injury or simply a lack of time, getting back into a regimented fitness routine should be approached slowly and carefully. It is always best to speak with a doctor to get the necessary clearance and green light before starting a new exercise plan. Here are some safe, slow and simple ways to get started on a new fitness journey.

Create A Workout Schedule

The most important step to starting a new fitness plan is to create a feasible schedule that works with the individual’s lifestyle and incorporates both cardiovascular and strength training. A sample workout schedule for a new fitness plan would be 30 minutes of walking on Monday and Thursday with 30 minutes of light strength training, using hand weights, on Tuesday and Friday.

Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday would be rest days. This example could be altered depending on the individual’s level of fitness. Rest days are essential, as they allow the body and muscles ample recovery time to prevent overuse and injury.

Low-Impact Workouts

Low-impact workouts are exercises that most people can execute without the risk of injury. Brisk walking around the neighborhood, or at the gym on a treadmill, is one of the best exercises for getting the body used to exercising after a long break. As fitness levels and endurance increase, incline levels and speed can be raised on a treadmill.

In an outdoor setting, walkers can increase stamina and caloric burn by incorporating HIIT training. High-intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT, jolts the metabolism and burns more calories than traditional workouts.

Five minutes of walking is mixed in with a minute of fast-paced jogging, for example, before returning to a brisk walk pace. These short bursts of high-intensity exercises are a way to burn more calories as the individual gets accustomed to the new fitness routine.

Fuel the Body

A new exercise plan is most effective when combined with a balanced and nutritious diet. Even the smallest changes in diet can have long-lasting effects. Instead of making a complete and drastic overhaul all at once, try incorporating small changes.

Instead of a small bag of chips as a snack, try replacing it with apples and peanut or almond butter. Replace a rib-eye steak and white potato at dinner with a sirloin steak and a sweet potato. These subtle changes eliminate the feelings of deprivation that often accompany starting a new fitness and diet routine.

Make Connections

Having a support system in place is often crucial to the success of any new fitness routine. People need the support and encouragement of others to keep the motivation and momentum going.

Friends and family are always great support systems, and there are also a plethora of forums, groups and boards online full of members with similar stories and fitness journeys.

With the proper tools, game plan and resources, anyone can have success with a new fitness plan. Start slow, and make deliberate choices that will stick.