After a long, hot summer, it can be extremely difficult to jump back into the exercise game. You’ve overindulged, missed a few workouts and then all of a sudden, you’re in a rut. So, the question is- how do you get back into a gym routine?
Ali Syed, Regional Fitness Manager at Fitness First, shares his top tips on how to ease yourself back into the gym:
The best thing to do after taking time off from the gym is to ease yourself back into it. Try not to worry too much. It’s ok to take a break and enjoy life. Afterall, it’s all about having a good balance. Remember, exercise is for life, not just for one day, a week or even a month.
To ease yourself back into the gym, try factoring in 3 hours a week of exercise. According to a study by ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), 3 hours a week of exercise can help us live at least 10 years longer.
BUILD UP YOUR STENGTH
Try 20-30 minutes of cardio and make sure to keep your heart rate between 65% -80% and then continue to 20-30 minutes of weight training. When returning to weight training after time off, remember to gradually increase the weight you are lifting, as this well help to build up your strength safely. Whichever weight training you choose to do, start off with 12-15 reps
LOW INTENSITY CARDIO IS KEY
A little weight gain over the summer holidays is normal. We’ve all over-indulged. If you’re feeling nervous about possible weight gain remember to check your body composition to understand the balance beforehand. Low intensity, 30-minute cardio workouts are great for quick and extremely fast results. Swimming for example is perfect, as it provides you with a full body workout and it doesn’t impact the joints. Swimming is also great for calming the mind and relieving any stress or anxiety that you might be feeling.
TRY A PERSONAL TRAINER
It's very normal for people to feel de-motivated or bored of the gym, especially after a long, hot summer. Most people start to feel extremely lethargic and weary. Setting realistic goals and challenges are both great ways to keep you motivated. A personal trainer is a good way to get you back on track. A qualified trainer will create a workout programme specifically tailored for your needs and goals. Once you start seeing results from personal training, you will instantly feel motivated to continue your fitness journey.
Studies have shown that people exercise more often, push themselves harder and train for longer when they work out with friend. Training with a friend can not only be fun and motivational but it can also activate a competitive streak, pushing you to lift heavier, run faster or squeeze in an extra rep or two. Scheduling a gym session with a friend also helps you stay focused and holds you accountable for getting your workout in. In fact, having the right workout buddy can often be the difference between failure and success.