As much as I really enjoy exercising, from time to time it just doesn’t work for me. Between going on vacation, working long hours, having a busy schedule, and falling ill, somewhere along the way the exercise piece can just slip quietly away.
The good thing about exercise falling off my radar is that I learn not to take it for granted. I start to miss it, and I feel my energy flagging, and I find the time to fit exercising back into the daily routine again. It feels amazing to get back into it.
Although it can be tempting to leap back into fitness, it’s very important to instead ease back into it. If you try to do too much, your body will have a hard time handling it, and your mental capacity will start to resent exercise. That’s not a place where we want to be!
Here are some tips for easing into exercise:
- Start with walking. Walking is a simple and wonderful activity. Since my office is a 25-minute walk from my home, I walk every day, and even when exercise fell off my radar, I was still getting close to an hour of walking every day. Depending on where you’re at, start with anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour of walking for a couple of weeks.
- Take baby steps. Mr Science got a running injury during the summer, which means that our running has had to start very small again. We don’t want that injury to flare back up! So, we started with running just 1 km, three times each week, and we’re adding .25 km each week until we get to 2.5 km, at which point we’ll start adding .5 km each week. It’s a very short run, and it’s a very small amount that we’re adding each week, but it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Avoid injuries by increasing fitness bit by bit.
- Challenge your flexibility. These days, Mr Science and I are doing 30-minute yoga sessions at home twice each week, and then a longer hour-long yoga session on the weekend. We mix up the yoga with Pilates and do something different each time, from core workouts to power flows to gentle hathas. It keeps the muscles guessing and it’s also a great mental exercise to breathe into each pose.
- Lift easy. I’ve started off with just doing 15 reps of five different exercises, a couple times each week, using a resistance band or lighter weights. If you’re adding in something like yoga, strength training will be a part of that – again, this is about not overdoing it! Focusing on just 15 reps of five different exercises is also a great way for realizing how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time. The day after getting back into lifting for the first time, my triceps were sore! Take it easy, and listen to what your body wants.