Article by Jemma Thomas, Personal Trainer and founder of Jemmas Health Hub, the online fitness community for women.
Getting back into exercise after a long break, particularly while we’ve had our freedom restricted by lockdown, can be pretty tough – whether it’s because you’ve had an injury, become a new mum or just fallen out of your routine.
The most important thing is not to beat yourself up about it and remember that it’s one step at a time!
Here are my top tips on getting back into it and learning to love the fitness bug:
– Find an exercise that you can love – perhaps you used to be a runner, or a swimmer or a netball player. While you’ll undoubtedly be rusty, these are skills you won’t have lost so look into local clubs where you can reinvigorate your old talents. You might make some new friends while you’re at it!
– Get into the right mindset – don’t put too much pressure on yourself and go at your own pace. Remember that everyone is different so don’t rush yourself. The worst thing you can do is push yourself too hard and pull a muscle so set small, achievable targets each week so that your body can get moving again.
– Don’t compare yourself to others – everyone is different. Try to avoid social media accounts that are triggering for you and make you start to compare your body in any way.
– Listen to your body – if you have any aches or pains, listen to them and react. Don’t push your body too hard when you’re first starting – begin slowly and work up.
– Stretch – stretching is so important and will make a huge difference to how you feel the next day, and about exercising again!
– Avoid the scales – exercise is more about making you FEEL better mentally, not how you look so try not to weigh yourself too much. There are so many other factors that can affect our weight that it’s not the best way to monitor success.
– Go online and find like-minded fitness communities – accountability is one of the most important things when re-starting your fitness routine. At The Hub we log in 4 times a week to work out together and then post our ‘sweaty selfies’ after, offering each other some love and support! It makes a huge difference to morale and really encourages people to log in when they say they will.
– Buy the right kit – Invent in a good quality pair of trainers, decent headphones and a fantastic sports bra. If you’re out exercising at night make sure you’ve got some fluorescent clothing so cars and bikes can see you coming. If you’ve got decent equipment that you like using, and wearing, then you’re more likely to get out there!
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