Unlike planned holidays, workout breaks can often last much longer than you anticipated. I know well and truly what this feels like, as my 6-times a week workout habit quickly whittled away to just 1 makeshift session a week whenever I could handle the heat or wherever I could find the space. Travelling Southeast Asia was a beautiful experience, however it made me realised that even with healthy eating, my body just doesn’t hold its form without a strict exercise regime.
It’s easy for a few weeks off the treadmill to snowball into months of little to no exercise and a slump in motivation. Undeniably, it’s always hard to get back on the wagon after lying on the ground for so long, and I’m the first to admit that as much as I love the buzz from working out, I have been procrastinating getting back on track. But now, I’m ready more than ever to get back into it and restore my fitness levels – and my fat levels – to what they were a few months ago.
So, if you want to take action and get yourself back in the game, do it! And if you need a little guidance, here’s exactly how you can get back into fitness in just 4 simple steps.
1) Don’t dwell on it
You’ve probably thought a million times, “How did I let myself go this much?”, or “I’m never going to be as fit as I used to be”…. Sound familiar?
Idealising how fit you used to be or how good you used to look will only lead to feelings of guilt, demotivation and defeat. Focus on looking forward! You’ve achieved that great body before, so what’s to say you won’t achieve it again and look and feel even better? Prove to yourself that you can make a comeback and don’t dwell on what’s already been done. You can’t change the past, but you can always shape your future.
2) Set your goal
Before you commit to getting yourself back into fitness, you need to outline your objectives. What’s your motivation for getting fit again? If it’s that you want to feel confident in a bikini, set a time scale and establish what you want to achieve and by when. If it’s simply that you want to get back into fitness or improve your general health, set yourself a goal that 2 months from now, you’ll still be maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For me, I want to feel fit and strong again as it makes me feel so proud to beat my PBs and feel confident in myself.
You also need to outline how you’re going to achieve your goal – you’d never pay for a hotel on a remote island before you figure out how you’d get there, so why should fitness be any different? Think about your journey and decide on your course of action, whether that’s finding a running club, joining the gym or taking up yoga.
3) Reboot your eating plan
Getting back into fitness requires more than just a renewed gym membership and exercise classes. Fitness and healthy eating go hand in hand, so it’s essential that you reboot your eating habits and do it properly. Exercise is great for making you feel good and supporting fat loss, however this alone won’t make a huge difference especially if you’re not fuelling your body well. Clear out your cupboards of processed meals and sugary snacks and opt for the healthiest, least processed options in each food group.
4) Ease yourself back in
Don’t make the mistake I did and go full throttle on your first session. This only ends up being counter-productive as your body isn’t used to the added stress and you probably won’t be able to walk for a few days! I Instead, start with a couple of light sessions and integrate some flexibility training into your workouts to assist your range of motion before you go at it 100%.
Ultimately, don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s inevitable your body may have suffered a little from lack of exercise, so it will probably be hard and it will probably hurt! Stay focused and set yourself realistic goals to get you back where you want to be. And whenever that little negative voice creeps into your mind and reminds you of what you were, shut this off completely. Instead of letting it get you down, appreciate how good you looked before but use this as a reminder that you’ve done it once, so you can do it again!
Good luck, and feel free to share your progress!