Over the holidays, many of us probably didn’t work out as much as usual—and that is totally fine! Life is, as they say, all about balance.
And now that we’ve conquered our gym-timidation, it’s time to look at how to actually get back into a workout routine.
“Whether you’re recovering from illness or injury, coming back from a holiday or time off, or even if you’re postpartum, getting back into a workout routine can be a really exciting time. But it’s totally normal to also feel slightly nervous,” says Jacqui Kingswell, co-founder and head trainer at The Pilates Class.
For advice, we tapped Jacqui and several more of our favorite fitness experts for their tips on how to start working out again.
Celebrity wellness and Pilates instructor
- “It’s important not to make big goals and have unrealistic expectations. I recommend to my clients to have fun with it, just enjoy the process, and take one day at a time. It’s like putting one foot in front of the other.”
- “Try to schedule your workouts weekly. This will help keep you consistent, and consistency is the key to success and seeing results.”
Co-founder & CEO of the LA-based boutique fitness studio LIFT Society
- “When returning to the gym, and specifically to a lifting workout, you will need to ease back into how much weight you lift, depending on how much time you took off. Allow yourself a few weeks to get your strength back, especially if you were flying, had long drives, or felt that you indulged in too many sweets and holiday beverages. Start with your regular warm-up weight, and go by feel. Go at 60% to 70% effort so you don’t get too sore, and you can get back on a consistent training regimine.”
- “Mobility exercises are recommended before a workout, and static stretches should be done after a workout. Stretching after a workout can decrease delayed onset muscle soreness as well as improve flexibility.”
Co-founder and trainer at the ness
- “Set realistic and achievable goals. Break down larger fitness goals into smaller, more manageable milestones.If your goal is to ‘work out 6 days a week’ break it down into smaller, more bite size goals through the year. It could be ‘workout for 10 minutes 6 days a week in January’ and then you can up the minutes as you progress.”
- “Choose exercises or activities that you genuinely enjoy. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, cycling, or group fitness classes, finding something you love increases the likelihood that you’ll stick with it.”
Co-founder and head trainer at The Pilates Class
- “Start slow. It’s not a race. You’re only up against yourself, so take your time, and enjoy the journey.”
- “Ensure you’re fuelling your body with what it needs. Build yourself a balanced meal with enough protein as well as carbs, fibre and healthy fats to refuel and nourish your body. An example of a balanced post-workout meal could be a Poke Bowl with Tofu or chicken (Protein), Brown Rice + Sweet potato (Carbs), Mixed Greens (Fiber), Diced Avocado, chopped nuts + Miso dressing (Healthy Fats).”
- “Remember that it shouldn’t be ‘all or nothing.’ If you need a day off, or you don’t get your workout in on a certain day, that doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off track. Sometimes, letting our bodies rest is more beneficial than forcing ourselves to move when we’re tired or run down. The same goes for your nutrition. If your soul is craving something sweet, go and have something sweet. This doesn’t undo any of your progress. It truly is all about balance.”
Co-founder and trainer at the ness
- “Don’t put too much pressure on it. Building back a fitness routine can feel very serious, and in the new year, downright intimidating. Let go of expectations, and be flexible as you embark on this journey. Allow yourself to enjoy the process of trying something new, something you will want to keep doing. You’ll discover that the less pressure you place on this new routine to be absolutely perfect, the more you will maintain self-awareness and tap into what actually feels good for your body and lifestyle.”
- “Avoid workouts or fitness companies that boast extreme, fast results that only focus on altering your physical appearance. If a workout routine is going to truly integrate into your daily life, the goals and benefits of it should extend beyond changing your physical appearance and feel more holistic. Try to pinpoint what it is you’re looking for from your fitness on a deeper level, and lean into movement that keeps you mentally engaged, makes you smile, and doesn’t feel forced.”
- “Connect with a workout buddy to hold each other accountable and motivate each other on those days you just don’t feel it!”
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