So you are starting over with exercise again…

Keeping a solid regular exercise routine is hard. Even as a fitness professional, I have gone through periods where exercise was put on the back burner. This is normal with the way life ebbs and flows.

If you are ready to jump back into exercise after a break (long or short). Here are my top ways to do so without stress.

Before we start, I want you to ask yourself: “Why did you stop exercising?”

  • Was it an injury?
  • Did you hate what you were doing for exercise? 
  • Did you burn out, take a break and then never return? 
  • Did work, family, and life generally make it too challenging to stick with your routine?
  • Were you not seeing results?

These are all very valid and typical reasons why people quit working out. You are not alone. Answering the above question honestly will make you more successful moving forward with exercise because it will help you identify your challenges, so you can work to overcome them in the future. The Albert Einstein quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” is particularly applicable here. 

So you have identified why you quit working out; now what? If you are ready to start over with exercise, these are my tried and true ways to be successful.

If you quit working out because of an injury:

Has the injury been resolved? If not, could you see a medical professional or a physical therapist to help heal the injury? Is there a form of exercise you enjoy that would accommodate your injury? Getting help to heal an injury will go a long way towards increasing your overall quality of life (no one wants to go through life with pain if it can be avoided), as well as make it more likely for you to stick to an exercise routine.

If you hated what you were doing for exercise before:

Now’s the time to date some different exercise modalities. That is the great thing about exercise there are so many choices available. Trying out lots of different ways to exercise can help you find what you like, and my number one way to stick with an exercise routine is to find something you enjoy doing. Yes, running is super effective, but it isn’t the right exercise if you hate it. More good news, almost all online platforms have free trials, and many gyms and studios do as well. Free trials are an affordable and effective way to find a workout that is right for you.  

If you burned out, took a break, and have yet to return:

This is very common for people performing at a high level in a particular sport; think endurance runners or competitive athletes. Ask yourself what you enjoyed when you were working out. If you were training for a marathon, but it completely took over your whole life, consider training for a shorter distance or joining a running group without training for anything. Having accountability in the form of like-minded people is a great way to get back into a routine. 

See above if you no longer enjoy what you were doing that caused the burnout.

If work, family, and life generally made it too challenging to stick with an exercise routine:

Lack of time or the perception of having a lack of time is the number one reason people either don’t work out or quit. I have written extensively on this subject and will link those blogs below:

Making and Achieving Goals in 2023

Finding Time for Exercise: The Power of Scheduling 

How to Find Time for your Health and Fitness

Make it Manageable…Reach those Health and Fitness Goals

4 Ways to Stay Consistent with Exercise

This is one of the more difficult things to overcome in an exercise journey. There is nothing more frustrating than prioritizing exercise and not seeing results. The hard truth is that what works for us as individuals will change throughout our lifetime, and what works for one person won’t work the same for someone else.  

The first thing I suggest is getting clear on your goal and asking for help from a professional. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable working with a professional can be. People with support are way more likely to accomplish their goals. Asking for help keeps you from wasting time spinning your wheels. Professionals can help you fine-tune your actions and guide you on a path best suited to your needs.  

If your goal is to get stronger, but you are only doing high-intensity cardio, a professional can help you make a manageable plan more suited to reaching your goals. If you are interested in losing weight, speaking with a nutrition professional and a fitness professional is essential.  

This fitness space can be overwhelming. It can be hard to know where to start and what modes will be most effective for reaching your individual goals. A trusted and knowledgeable professional and help you weed thru the garbage and identify options that are best suited to you.

I hope these suggestions help you on your path to returning to exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being physically active is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Don’t miss out on the long-lasting and numerous benefits like increased mental clarity, stronger bones and muscles, and reduced risk of disease from a regular exercise routine.  

If you are interested in what Pilates can do for you, drop me a note or grab a free trial of my Online Pilates Membership and get started today!

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