There are steps you should take to starting back to the gym after a break. I know we push and we push and we push to get your butts to the gym and work yourself to death. If you’re not working out regularly and you’re going to start tomorrow on your new year’s resolution please do not push yourself to the point of puking. 75% of you will end up in injury and that injury will either set you back 6-8 weeks, completely demolish your dream of getting healthy, or worse.
Keep in mind that you should always contact your physician prior to starting any workout regimen and/or products for weight loss, especially if you are currently taking prescription medications.
So if you’re not a regular gym-goer start out SLOW. There is no rush to this. You won’t see results overnight. If you only get 20 minutes in tomorrow, that’s 20 minutes you weren’t doing last week. IT’S OK!!
STRETCH!! STRETCH FOR MULTIPLE REASONS!!
• reduce muscle tension, and make the body feel more relaxed
• increase the range of motion
• prevent muscle strains: a strong pre-stretched muscle resists stress better than a strong unstretched muscle
• prevent joint strains
• reduce the risk of back problems
• prepare the body for strenuous exercise
• increase ‘body awareness’
• promote circulation
• for females, reduces the severity of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
• increase the learning, practice, and performance of many types of skilled movements
• reduce muscular soreness
STEPS TO TAKE FOR A SUCCESSFUL COME-BACK:
1. START SMALL.
Like really, ridiculously small. It takes less than you think to challenge your body and start inspiring changes. But you should mainly start small because your biggest friend right now is: momentum. Starting small makes sticking with it more likely and will provide small wins that build confidence and add momentum. Committing to running 30 mins every day vs. running 5 mins a day will lead to more risk in not meeting your goal = giving up.
Start small. Kick ass. Increase. Repeat.
2. JUST DO IT.
I realize this is easier said than done but there is no way around it. You just have to do it. The more you think about it, justify it, analyze it, doubt it, want it…see, I got lost just thinking about you thinking about doing it. Refer to the other steps, but just do it. Start today…the time will pass anyway.
3. SET A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT.
The calendar app on your phone is your friend (do people even have real calendars anymore? IDK). Have you heard that unless it’s written down, it isn’t real? Well, it’s true. Schedule your workouts, meals or hike dates like they are your important meetings at work that you would NEVER MISS. Write it down, pick a time, and don’t cancel on yourself. You are someone who follows through. Don’t let yourself down. Besides, it’s easy to talk yourself out of something you just thought of doing, but it’s not so easy if it’s written down.
4. START YOUR DAY WITH A WIN.
Remember that momentum thing we talked about? A new morning is the perfect time for a fresh start and what better way to start it than like a WINNER. Have a badass morning routine and you will set the tone for a productive, positive day. Look at you, waking up on the right side of the bed and being a nutritional badass the rest of the day.
5. SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS.
Throw away everything in the kitchen that tempts you or causes you to go off track (donate it if you don’t want to waste food). Please don’t rely on will power alone, you need to preserve all you can. If you know you go crazy on peanut butter, don’t buy it and get it out of the house. Plan date nights for the next few weeks so you can avoid unhealthy dinners out and pick activities that support your focus for now. Maybe it’s time for a workout partner; when you don’t feel like it they can force you and vice versa. Tell your friends, family or social media what your goals are so you will have accountability support and then get to work.
6. GIVE IT 72 HOURS. NON NEGOTIABLE. (FOR OFF-THE-WAGONS OF 7 DAYS OR LESS)
If your workout hiatus was less than a week, especially for those that just had a really baaaad weekend, I have a rule. When you get back on track, you have a non negotiable 72 hour period of effort regardless of progress. Here’s why: Let’s say you are in really good shape, and you have a crazy weekend. Your crazy weekend is not like most people. You eat. A LOT. Everything you craved fit into a 48 hour period can have ugly consequences. But have you ever noticed that sometimes after a cheat day you look better the next day? And maybe even the next? And then it hits you…hard. Well, the same applies to eating clean. Just because you were ‘perfect’ on Monday after a bad weekend doesn’t mean it will show Tuesday morning.
GIVE IT 72 HOURS. Don’t sabotage yourself by getting discouraged after a day and slipping up again and having it turn into an ‘off’ week.You are still dealing with cravings from the sugar in your system and that will go away after 72 hours for most people, as will the bloating. So next time you have one of those weekends and you are ready to get back on track, you are in it for 72 hours before judging yourself, the scale or your abs. Mk?
7. CHANGE YOUR HAVE-TO’S TO WANT-TO’S.
This is a mindset thing. It’s important to address because while the other tips are great for short term success in getting you back on track, this one will lead to long term success and happiness in your chosen lifestyle. It’s time to change the have-to’s to want-to’s for realsies.
Old: “I have to workout to get back in shape”
New: “I want to feel great about my body again so I’m doing this”
Old: “I have to avoid all sweets and sugar”
New: “I want to see my abs again”
Because that’s why we do this isn’t it? No one wants to limit treats, but we do it because we want the feeling or results that come when we do. Focus on what you want, not what you have to do to get there.
Eating healthy and working out is simple.
Don’t overcomplicate it to the point it consumes you. The people who figure out how to enjoy it and make it an abundant and replenishing part of their lives are the real winners.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.