🏾♀️ We've all taken breaks before and returned to our exercise regiments only to find that our bodies have adapted to our more recent, less-active habits a lot quicker than we had hoped. How quickly our bodies can forget all that hard work we had put in! It has been said we either "use it or lose it." To say the pandemic has made it harder for us to "use it" is an understatement. ♂️
No matter what you may have done (or not done) over the past few months, it's in your body's best interest to follow these 5 best practices when restarting your regular workout routine:
🤮 Start with 50% Loads - Most movements require several muscle groups, when we grab a weight that is too heavy for your body, larger muscle groups kick in and overcompensate for weaker, smaller ones. Needless to say, this leads to injury. Instead, start light, focus on the muscle group being worked, your breathing, and keep the reps below failure.
🥰 Don't Compare Yourself to Others - We could write a book on this one, but let's keep it simple and say: be kind to yourself. Charting your incremental personal progress will always yield safer and more sustainable results than charting them against others. Look for accomplishments in your own workouts and it will help you enjoy it more.
🏠 Recover at Home - Most of us (especially now) sit a lot during the day. Try setting a timer on your phone every 1-2 hours to remind you to stand and stretch for a minute or two. Or make TV watching more productive by grabbing a foam roller to use while you watch. Just make sure to drink lots of water!
🤕 If it Hurts, Modify - If we were to oversimplify pain, we could put it into two buckets: good and bad pain. Good pain is the pumping sensation we feel when we exercise correctly. Bad pain is that sharp-seizing pain that is our brain's way of saying: STOP! Listen to what you're body is trying to tell you and ask your trainer for a modification. After your workout, it would be helpful to do some online research and see if you can diagnose the issue. If not, find a physical therapist or a trainer you trust who could help shine some light on the issue.
😋 Have Fun! - Working out is not that big of a deal. Admittedly we're dealing with our bodies, which is a sore area for us all when the light is shined a certain way; but then again so can anything else in life. And since you've now been given permission to slow down, why not just show up and have fun? It beats being quarantined. Just saying...
😎 In summary - All you gotta do is show up