How to Start Exercising Again After A Long Break

You didn't stumble upon this article by mere coincidence. Something has been on your mind for a while, and I'm here to reassure you that it's not too late. Starting anew and challenging yourself is always within reach, no matter how long it's been since you last pushed your limits and broke a sweat. We understand that life can get in the way!

There are injuries, motivation issues, and time slips away. But fear not, because just like riding a bike, once you've learned it, you never truly forget. So, let's shake off those cobwebs, slip into your workout gear, and embark on this journey together to learn how to get back into working out. Even if stationary biking isn't your preferred activity, there is sure to be a valuable takeaway you can gain. Let's dive in and get motivated again!

Understanding Why You Stopped

Let's start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. What were the reasons you took a break from exercise? Whether it was due to an injury, a significant life event, or even a decline in motivation, it's essential to recognize and understand your reasons for taking a break. Each story is unique, and each comeback will be too. If you know why you stopped, great. However, if you are making excuses for yourself and not remembering what was holding you back then you should take the time to write down what you think went wrong. We want to start with a clean slate and learn how to get back into shape.

Injury-related breaks require a particular sensitivity. The body needs to heal, and pushing too hard could lead to re-injury. A new mom, on the other hand, is juggling the demands of caring for a baby with sleep deprivation. Then there's the workaholic who barely has time to eat, let alone exercise. Whatever your reason for stopping, know that it's okay. Fitness is a journey, and sometimes life takes you on a detour. But now that you're ready to resume, it's important to take a slow, steady, and gentle approach.

How Do I Prepare to Start Working Out Again?

To stay motivated on your journey towards fitness, it's important to set achievable goals. Although you may be tempted to jump right back into your pre-break workout routine, it's best to resist that urge. Your body needs time to adjust to where it was before. Let's establish some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals.

A clear example of applying goals in a productive way would be committing to cycling on a stationary bike for 15 minutes, three times a week over the course of the next two weeks. This goal is specific, as it specifies the duration of 15 minutes, measurable through timing the workout, achievable for someone re-establishing their fitness routine, relevant to the objective of returning to exercise, and time-bound with a set timeframe of two weeks

How Do I Start Working Out Again After a Long Break?

To kickstart your fitness journey, it's advisable to follow a structured plan. During the initial week, opt for low-intensity cycling sessions on your stationary bike, allocating approximately 15 minutes per session, three days a week. This approach serves the purpose of reintroducing your body to physical activity without overwhelming it. It allows your muscles, cardiovascular system, and overall physique to gradually adapt to the demands of exercise once again.

As you move into the second week, you can consider advancing your workouts by strategically modifying either the intensity or duration of your sessions. However, it's important to note that it's generally better to focus on altering one aspect at a time rather than attempting to increase both intensity and duration. This method allows your body to acclimate progressively to the heightened demands, minimizing the risk of potential strain or injury.

Remember, patience and consistency are key during this journey back to fitness. By gradually increasing the challenges you impose on your body, you'll steadily regain strength, endurance, and overall fitness levels. So, stay committed, embrace the process, and celebrate each milestone along the way.

4 Tips to Restart Your Exercise Routine

1. Planning Your Comeback

When returning to exercise after taking a break, it is crucial to develop a well-thought-out plan to ensure a successful comeback. Remember, planning is half the battle in establishing a great fitness routine! The key lies in implementing a progressive approach, starting with an easy-to-follow pace and gradually enhancing the intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts. This gradual progression technique is commonly known as the FITT principle, which encompasses Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type of Exercise. This ensures that your body and muscles are consistently stimulated, promoting growth and improvement.

2. Your First Weeks Back

Embarking on your fitness journey again may feel overwhelming, but remember, you're in control. You have the power to set the pace, determine the intensity, and decide the duration of your workouts. As you begin your first week, it's normal to experience some soreness afterward. This discomfort is a sign that your body is adapting to the new routine. However, it's crucial to know the difference between normal muscle soreness and actual pain, which could indicate overexertion. Remember carefully that the saying no pain, no gain has its limits.

Normal muscle soreness, known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), typically emerges a day or two after a workout and lingers for two to three days. It presents as a general ache or stiffness in the muscles. On the other hand, pain is sharper, emerges during or immediately after a workout, and is usually present in a specific area. If you experience pain, it's a clear sign that you should scale back your workouts and allow your body more time to recover. Prioritize your well-being and be smart about your approach. Remember, an injury can significantly set back your progress and delay your journey even further.

3. The Role of a Stationary Bike

Are you still looking for a place to start? Look no further than your living room! A stationary bike is one of the best tools to help you get started and it can be placed in any room in your house. Not only do stationary bikes provide an effective cardiovascular workout, but they also offer numerous benefits. They can aid in weight loss, improve heart health, and even boost your mood. What's more, they offer a low-impact exercise option, which is gentler on the joints compared to many other forms of exercise. This makes them especially suitable for individuals recovering from injuries.

The versatility of stationary bikes is another major advantage. You can easily adjust the resistance to make your workouts more challenging as your fitness level improves. Additionally, they accommodate various types of workouts. Whether you prefer a steady ride while catching up on your favorite TV show or a high-intensity interval session when you're short on time, stationary bikes can adapt to your needs. What's even more exciting is that many stationary bikes come equipped with LCD screens pre-loaded with classes and challenges. This ensures that boredom is never a concern, and you can enjoy the support of a vibrant community cheering you on throughout your fitness journey!

4. Tracking Your Progress

Remember the goal you set for yourself? Now is the perfect time to track your progress toward that goal. You have the option to use a fitness app or even rely on a good old-fashioned notebook to jot down the details of your workouts. Make sure to record information such as the duration of your ride, the resistance level, and how you felt both during and after the workout.

After a couple of weeks, take a moment to review your records. You will likely discover significant progress. You might be cycling for longer periods, have increased the resistance on your bike, or no longer feel as breathless after your sessions. These are all positive signs indicating improvement. Keep up the great work and be proud of yourself for the strides you are making.

yellow exercise bike

The Final Push

And just like that, we've reached the finish line of this guide. We've discussed reasons for your break away from fitness, carved out attainable goals, developed your glorious comeback plan, and explained how a stationary bike can help you! We've also braved the initial weeks of resurgence and emphasized the importance of tracking progress. Think of this as climbing a steep hill. It may seem difficult at times, but in the end, we can do it!

So, whether your stationary bike is literal or metaphorical, your wheels are spinning again. Remember, it's less about the speed and more about the direction. If you made it this far, then you are already moving in the right direction. Sure, life might toss a flat tire or two your way, but now you're equipped to fix it and push on since you know how to start exercising again.