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Easing Back into Exercise: Like Back to School for Your Body

Easing Back into Exercise: Like Back to School for Your Body

Joan Schnorf

You remember what your mom used to say when you’d color outside of the lines or miss a basket, right? Practice makes perfect.

The concept behind the phrase is perpetual growth. Always moving forward – always learning – always honing those skills.

Conversely, taking a breather from anything you excel at for too long will throw a monkey wrench into the perfection machine. You will get rusty, without fail. And that goes for coloring books, basketball courts, and – without question – exercise.

With the arrival of fall, many of us are slipping back into our normal routines. Back-to-school season is in full swing, and moms and dads are back to the daily grind, the memories of those beach vacations and carnival funnel cakes firmly in the rearview.

At the same time, the last quarter of the year yields a number of holiday celebrations and their respective overindulgences, making a regular workout routine so much more important.

Here are some pointers for easing back into exercise:

  • Don’t do too much, too quickly. Start slow. Try 10 minutes per day and build gradually. Just like a child shaking off sleep on that first day of school, your body is adjusting to the rude awakening that you want it to work again. Push the envelope, and you risk injury.
  • Rebuild your routine. Along those same lines, don’t feel obligated at first to adhere to your former schedule from way back when. If three studio sessions per week is how you used to work, set that as a goal and work up to it bit by bit, week by week.
  • Warm up: Your muscles, particularly muscles you haven’t stretched in some time, hate pop quizzes. Ask your personal trainer to lead you in some pre-workout warm up exercises. And be forewarned – you’re going to be sore initially. But with consistency, your body will begin to adapt to the burn again. Postscript: Be sure to cool down following your workout and allow your heartrate to return to normal.
  • Get plenty of rest: Easing back into exercise – really, exercising, period – requires a well-rested body and mind. It’s all part of the equation. During these early sessions, you’re going to feel slightly exhausted. But moving forward, be sure to get the requisite sleep for your age group. Turn in early if need be or give yourself an extra half hour or more in when possible to recoup.
  • Don’t fixate on weight loss (or that chiseled body). Yes, that’s one of many goals. But when you’re just getting back into the swing of things – focus on how energized and how rejuvenated working out once again truly makes you feel. That will give you the impetus to keep practicing, perfectly placing you back on the path to a healthier you.

Leaping back into activity after an extended break period can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be joyless. Seek the help of a certified personal trainer who can get you back on track in no time at all. Fitness Together Ellicott City can help you continue to pursue that healthier lifestyle this fall. Give us a call at 410-541-1392.

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