Five Tips to Get Your Fitness Back

Five Tips to Get Your Fitness Back

Fallen off the Fitness Wagon? Here is how to Get Your Fitness, Energy and Drive Back

Everyone falls off the wagon with health and fitness at some point and wonders how to get their fitness back.

This can be through injury, sickness – or just life getting in the way. You skip a workout, then one more. Before you know it, you feel tired and start putting on those unwelcome pounds.

Don’t worry if this is you, getting your fitness back need not involve a single huge act of willpower.

In fact, a series of small steps and habits is all you need to regain that fitter version of you.

#1 Fitness Habits Start with Making It Easy

I recently returned to running after a break of more than two years.

Instead of a big push and pure willpower, I made it easy in small steps.

This started with leaving my running shoes by the front door the night before and putting my top and shorts next to my bed. Instead of asking whether I should run, everything was ready. Once I had the clothes on, it would have been daft to take them off again.

One of the key ways that we build habits is to lower the resistance. Some people pair their habits with existing ones. For example, my quick set of push ups before my morning shower – and keeping vitamins next to the cooker so that I remember to eat them with dinner.

Ask yourself what steps you can take to make it easy to return to fitness. Leaving your gym kit in the boot of the car, taking the clothes hanging on your exercise bike and having it ready to use, or leaving those resistance bands in plain view ready for when you get home from work are all great examples.

Make Returning to Fitness Easy

#2 Start with Small Goals When Getting Your Fitness Back

A common mistake is to head to the gym (or running track) and try replicating workouts from your fitter days.

For anyone that has not worked out in a while, this is likely to have a negative effect. First, your muscles will be super-sore the next day or two. Second, that workout will not be enjoyable – creating a barrier to getting in the habit of regular exercise.

In the example above, my initial goal was to run one mile.

I over-achieved, making it 1.5 miles. As someone that thought 10k was a breeze a few years ago, my legs sure complained. I could still feel my thighs after 3 days!

By increasing those runs and varying things with resistance training and HIIT, I have hit 3 miles already – and will take it further soon.

#3 Get Your Fitness Back with an Activity You Enjoy

Everyone enjoys working out in different ways.

A common trap for people returning to fitness is to take an alternative route to the one that was fun first time around.

For example, if you enjoyed group classes, and feel you no longer have time, switching to a home elliptical trainer may not be a good solution. This will quickly turn into a chore, not the fun activity that you remembered.

I recommend trying out different forms of fitness. Martial arts, running groups, resistance training, group classes and home fitness equipment all play a role. Why not try something novel like a vibration plate trainer to keep things varied?

Best Vibration Exerciser

#4 – Buddy Up for Motivation While You Return to Fitness

Accountability is a key factor in maintaining any new habit.

Getting together with a friend, or a social group with similar goals is a fantastic way to keep you motivated to work out regularly. While it is easy to make an excuse for yourself, letting a buddy down (or even just letting them know) is a whole new level.

Fitness apps that let you share information with friends take this concept to a new level. There are free apps, and those with subscription options.

If you don’t have a buddy to pair with right now, why not try an online training service like iFit. This runs on NordicTrack treadmills and bikes – and features live training, social functions, and a vast library of pre-recorded training.

#5 – Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself

It is important that you reward yourself for the hard work.

The goal of getting your fitness back is 100% worthwhile. It is also hard to measure and needs to be maintained for a long while to have any real effect.

Instead, set up rewards that are easy to reach. For example, treat yourself to that delicious desert when you hit 5 runs in the next 2 weeks. If you make it to 10 group classes in a row, then a night out with a loved one can be scheduled.

When you are happy, it will be a lot easier to maintain that return to fitness than you ever thought possible.


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