If you are the kind of person who kickstarted every morning by jogging or doing some sort of exercise, the past two years must have been a complete slump for you. With restrictions imposed on staying indoors and gyms or parks closed indefinitely, it was a challenge to do any kind of physical activity.
Although it was an uphill battle, the world somehow succeeded in bringing the situation under control, and as things started to normalise, we also attempted to restart our old routine. But after spending a considerable amount of time in inactivity, it can be hard for people to suddenly get into exercise.
Why exercising after a long time is difficult?
It could be that one meeting or that one project for which you could not dedicate an hour to go to the gym or exercise. Gradually after missing one day, it just became convenient for you to focus on other things than working out, as it’s just too much for you to include it in your busy schedule. For some people, the mere thought of sweating it out in a gym or exercising can make them nervous or anxious, which isn’t surprising because after leading a sedentary lifestyle, if someone out of the blue asks you to run a mile or do ten push-ups, it can be daunting.
Apart from procrastination, there are other things that should be taken into account as well, your body responds to habit and structure. Contrary to popular belief, there are no guaranteed twenty-one days to form a routine; for every individual, it is different. It is noteworthy to mention that lack of motivation and mental barrier often proves to be the primary barriers in terms of continuing regular physical activity.
Dr Lyndell Bruce, from Deakin’s Centre for Sport Research, also mentions that perceived lack of time, injury, reduced motivation, and other external factors are some of the reasons why people fail to stick to a routine.
How to begin working out after prolonged inactivity?
Before starting any new regime, it is crucial to remember that to be consistent in anything; it is imperative to begin slowly and not overdo it at once. Below are a few helpful tips:
What do you aspire to accomplish? Strengthen your upper body? Reduce excess weight? Or develop your overall physical health. Whatever the goal might be, it is necessary to create a plan which is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive(S.M.A.R.T).
Prepare a schedule
Since time is always the main issue so isn’t it better to just figure out a workout routine that goes well with your time. Even if you can spare two to three days a week, that is fine, but make sure to mark it on your calendar. If you require to make sudden changes to your set plans, then make up for that day by setting aside additional time. The goal here is to stick to the routine which you have set.
Do not get swayed by the beginner’s enthusiasm and end up doing thirty minutes of cardio in one day only to quit the next day from body ache and regret. Before getting back to a regular workout routine, start with basic strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and planks. So master the foundational exercises, after which you will find yourself getting into the groove.
Apart from setting up a plan, you should make sure that you don’t go for a six days a week workout routine. This will only cause you to get exhausted. Instead, you should take days off to replenish as rest days are essential for long-term wellness.