Getting Back on the Workout Wagon


Odi Opole, Web Editor

||Exercise Tips||
It has been one week since I last engaged in physical activity of some kind, and it has been almost one year since I exercised regularly. In the past year, I gained 10 pounds and lost all the progress I made in terms of flexibility, strength and endurance. Now, I want to get back into working out, and I want to continue working out; I don’t want to work out for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon again.
If you’re like me, or you just need help with the initial push to begin, then read on; the key to a successful re-start is to simply ease yourself into a routine. However, each situation will be a little different depending on the person. Here are tips for two scenarios.
If you’re an athlete and you’ve been on a break:
Know your limits – It makes sense to want to start up right where you left off, but pushing beyond your ability just because it’s what you’re supposed to be able to do is a bad idea. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not in perfect form. It’ll come back.

Work your way up – Making goals and consistently meeting them will make your workouts much more gratifying, and you’ll be motivated to work hard at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

Switch up your workouts – Keeping things interesting is a great way to keep yourself interested, and it’ll also help you branch out into new activities. If you’re a wrestler, try replacing your usual cardio workout with some dancing. If you’re a runner, try yoga before a run to loosen up those legs.

Find a buddy – Or be one. Workout buddies keep you feeling competitive, and what’s better than a little competition to get your blood boiling- er, moving? Pushing yourself to go a little farther, or lift a little bit longer because of your workout partner is just another way to trick yourself into fitness.

If you’re a newbie, or it’s been longer than six months:

Pace yourself – Don’t jump into a difficult workout right away unless you want to be sore, cranky and unmotivated for the next week. If you really want to make a change in your life, then you’ll need to start slow and build your way up.

Trick yourself – If you’re not into running, squatting, lifting and sweating, start out with short, every-day exercises to get limber and used to movement before you do anything serious. Want to be a runner? Start with walking for 30 minutes. Then, when walking is easy, make it a jog. Then, when jogging is easy, run. Then, when 30 minutes becomes easy, use a track instead of a treadmill. It’s all about baby steps, and making sure your chosen workout is comfortable for you.

Don’t get lazy – Working out is a solitary thing – even if you participate in team sports. Don’t cheat yourself and act like you’re not ready to move up if you are. There’s no point in working out if you’re not willing to really work.

Don’t stop there – Don’t limit your lifestyle changes to working out. If you want to get fit and healthy, then it should ideally be in all areas of your life. If you’re committed to running four times a week, cut down to just one smoothie a week. If you’re committed to getting your body in optimum shape for a 5-k, get your brain in shape for that CA test by making time to sleep (something we all need to do).

Tips and advice were compiled after interviews with a doctor as well as personal experience from the author.