Have you ever gone through those periods where you’re extremely active or motivated about fitness, but then life happens? We all know how it goes. It seems like one thing pops up after another and the best thing to do is to reconfigure your priorities to take care of those important issues. Before long, time gets away from you and you’ve missed the gym. You’re eating on the fly. That motivation you had is now that thing you swear you’ll get back to as soon as you’ve taken care of issues X,Y & Z.
But, before you know it…months and sometimes years have flown by – and you begin to reflect back on how things were when you were active. And, how good it felt to be “fit”.
So how do you get back into the swing of things? How do you approach fitness in a way that supports longevity – so you don’t go through another fitness relapse?
1) Start Slow
The worst thing you can do is try to jump in where you left off or try to go from 0 to 60 overnight. Your body needs to get used to being active again and it has gone through some changes while you’ve been away from the active lifestyle. Just like your car in the winter – you need to warm it up before you push it to to it’s [current] max effort. It may be boring at first, but your body will thank you later. It’s important to reconnect with your body and test your strengths and weaknesses before thinking about going to the next level.
2) Train for the body & lifestyle you have now
Remember being when you could eat whatever you wanted and still look like a magazine cover model? Probably during the days of your Freshman year in college or somewhere in that age range. It felt like…you didn’t have to do much to “look fit”. But as we get older, we have to work twice as hard to be half as good. That’s just called reality, toss in a job [possibly] kids and actual responsibility then we find it increasingly difficult to maintain that “look” we were able to maintain yesteryear. You may have more time constraints now – so adjust your training to fit your current schedule. You may have a different relationship status now – train where it’s not disruptive to your quality time. You may have more limitations now – train where you can make consistent progress without further injuring yourself. You may not be as strong as you were before you took your “break” – ease back into lifting heavier. Your cardio isn’t as good as it used to be – take it 10 minutes at a time.
The biggest takeaway from this is to NOT overwhelm yourself and to be realistic about where you are in your life now.
3) Set the goal of being consistent before anything else
Weight loss, muscle gain, getting back the way I once was…those are all really good goals. But, if you haven’t been active in a while – you have to focus on staying consistent first. Make that your very first goal before you try to get specific with your goal setting. The results will come with consistency, and if results are the motivating factor – stay consistent.
Things will always pop up. You can’t stop things from happening and just the same – you can’t stop placing your health at the top of your list of priorities.