We've all been there – winter hits and suddenly it's too cold and dark to leave the house, let alone hit the gym. But now that spring is on the horizon, it's time to brush off those cobwebs and ease yourself back into exercise. Whether you've been sedentary for a few months or a few years, it's never too late to start moving your body again. However, after a long period of inactivity, it's common to experience physical and mental challenges that can make getting active seem daunting.
Physical challenges can include a loss of muscle mass, decreased cardiovascular endurance, and decreased flexibility. These issues can make even light exercise feel exhausting and uncomfortable, leading to a lack of motivation to continue. On the other hand, mental challenges can include feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, which can make it difficult to find the motivation to get moving.
The good news is that these issues can be overcome with a little patience and determination. By starting with small, achievable goals, you can build your endurance and strength over time. Additionally, finding a workout buddy or engaging in social exercise activities can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and isolation, while also providing accountability and support. Finally, focusing on the positive benefits of exercise, such as improved mood and energy levels, can help you stay motivated and on track. In this blog, we’ll explore some great ideas and techniques for motivating yourself, and making your spring return to fitness and action!
If you've been inactive over the winter months and want to get back in shape for springtime, it's important to start small and work your way up gradually. Here are some exercises you can do to get started:
- Walking: Walking is a great way to get moving and build up your endurance. Start by taking a 10-15 minute walk each day and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time. You can also try incorporating hills or stairs to increase the intensity.
- Cycling: Cycling is another low-impact exercise that can be a great way to get your heart rate up and build endurance. You can start with a stationary bike or an outdoor bike ride for 10-15 minutes a day and increase the duration and intensity over time.
- Bodyweight exercises: Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks are a great way to build strength and improve your overall fitness level. Start with a few sets of each exercise and gradually increase the number of reps and sets as you get stronger.
- Yoga: Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. Start with a beginner's yoga class or an online video for 10-15 minutes a day and work your way up to longer and more advanced classes.
Remember, the key to getting back into shape is to start small and be consistent. By gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts over time, you can build up your fitness level and achieve your goals in a safe and sustainable way.
Tip number two – find an exercise buddy. Having a workout partner can make all the difference when it comes to sticking to your exercise routine. Not only does it provide a sense of accountability, but it can also make exercising more fun and enjoyable. Call up a friend and make a date to hit the park or gym together.
Working out with a friend can be a great way to stay motivated and make exercising feel less like a chore. When you have a workout buddy, you are more likely to stick to your routine because you feel accountable to someone else. This sense of accountability can provide an extra boost of motivation on those days when you might be feeling a little lazy or unmotivated. Additionally, having someone to chat with while you exercise can make the time fly by, making it easier to stick to your routine.
Finding an exercise buddy doesn't have to be difficult. You can start by asking a friend or family member if they would like to exercise with you. Alternatively, you can join a group exercise class, such as a spin class or yoga class, where you can meet other like-minded people who share your fitness goals. This can be a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle while also getting in a good workout.
Another option is to join an online fitness community. There are many social media groups and forums dedicated to fitness and exercise, where you can connect with other people who share your interests and goals. This can be a great way to get support and encouragement from others, even if you don't have someone in your immediate social circle who is interested in exercising with you.
In summary, finding an exercise buddy can make a huge difference when it comes to sticking to your fitness routine. It can provide a sense of accountability, make exercising more fun, and help you stay motivated even on those days when you don't feel like working out. So, call up a friend or family member, join a group exercise class, or connect with an online fitness community today and start building your support network for a healthier, more active lifestyle.
After being inactive for a few months, it's understandable if you're feeling a little bored with your usual exercise routine. Now is the perfect time to mix things up and try something new. Not only will it help you avoid boredom and burnout, but trying new exercises can also help you target different muscle groups and prevent injury.
Here are some interesting workouts you might want to consider:
- Yoga - Yoga is a great way to build strength and flexibility while also calming the mind. Plus, it's a low-impact exercise, which makes it perfect for those who may be dealing with joint pain or other injuries.
- Dancing - Whether it's a Zumba class or just dancing around your living room, getting your body moving to some upbeat music can be a great way to burn calories and have fun at the same time.
- Swimming - Swimming is a fantastic way to get in a full-body workout without putting too much stress on your joints. It's also a great way to cool off on a hot day!
- Hiking - Hiking is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors while also getting in a good workout. Plus, it's a great way to explore new trails and scenic vistas.
- Bodyweight exercises - If you're not quite ready to hit the gym yet, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises you can do at home, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. These exercises require no equipment and can be modified to suit your fitness level.
Trying new exercises can be a great way to challenge yourself and keep your workouts interesting. Plus, it can help you discover new activities that you really enjoy and that you might want to continue doing in the future. So, don't be afraid to try something new and have fun with your workouts!
Rest And Recovery
When you're getting back into exercise after a long period of inactivity, it's important to give your body time to rest and recover. Taking rest periods during your workouts and scheduling rest days between workouts can help prevent injury and burnout, and allow your muscles to repair and grow stronger.
During your workouts, make sure to take breaks between exercises or sets to give your body time to recover. This can be especially important if you're doing high-intensity exercises like interval training or weight lifting. Depending on your fitness level, you may need anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes of rest between sets.
It's also important to schedule rest days between workouts. This gives your muscles time to recover and repair from the stress of exercise. Depending on your fitness level, you may need anywhere from one to three rest days per week.
One way to enhance your recovery and prevent muscle soreness is to incorporate foam rolling into your routine. Foam rolling is a type of self-massage that involves using a foam roller to apply pressure to your muscles and tendons. This can help increase blood flow, release tension, and improve flexibility.
To foam roll, simply place the foam roller on the floor and lie on top of it so that it's pressing against the muscle you want to target. Then, slowly roll back and forth over the foam roller, applying pressure to the muscle. You can also hold the foam roller on a tender spot for 20-30 seconds to help release tension.
Foam rolling can be especially helpful for areas that tend to get tight or sore, such as the calves, IT band, and upper back. It's also a great way to warm up before a workout or cool down after a workout.
In summary, taking rest periods during your workouts and scheduling rest days between workouts can help prevent injury and burnout, and allow your muscles to recover and grow stronger. Additionally, incorporating foam rolling into your routine can help enhance your recovery and prevent muscle soreness. So, make sure to prioritize rest and recovery as you ease back into exercise after a long period of inactivity.
Celebrate and Track Your Accomplishments and Boost Your Confidence and Motivation
As you start getting back into the swing of things, it's important to celebrate your accomplishments and track your progress to keep yourself motivated and confident. One way to do this is by setting small goals for yourself and rewarding yourself when you crush them. Maybe your goal is to run for 20 minutes straight without stopping, and when you do, you treat yourself to a massage or some new workout gear. It's all about celebrating those little victories!
Keeping track of your progress is another great way to boost your confidence and motivation. You can keep a workout journal or use a fancy fitness app to log your workouts, including the exercises you did, how long you worked out for, and how you felt during and after your sweat sesh. Seeing how far you've come can give you that extra push to keep going.
Now, let's talk about having fun during your workouts. If you're not having fun, it's going to be a lot harder to stick to your routine. So, mix things up! Try new exercises or workouts, put on some tunes or a funny podcast, or work out with a buddy or group. Making exercise enjoyable will make it a regular part of your routine.
Last but not least, be kind to yourself. You're not going to be perfect, and that's okay. There might be setbacks, and you might struggle with motivation from time to time. Remember to be patient with yourself, celebrate your accomplishments, and find ways to make exercise fun.
So, celebrate those little victories, track your progress, have fun during your workouts, and be kind to yourself. You got this!