Getting Back into Working Out After a Long Layoff
After a total cessation of sport, it is not advisable to resume physical activity too violently on a whim. For functional physical fitness, you must ask yourself the right questions to adapt to a program. Here are our tips for getting back to sport smoothly!
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken everyone by surprise. It has not only paralyzed the sectors of activity, but it has also encroached on our various pleasures, including our daily or weekly sports sessions.
Those who also used to hold their sessions at home have undoubtedly experienced a motivation brake. And we are not talking about team sports fans who were necessarily at a standstill. Time for the body to gain a few calories, gain some weight, and for the back and joints to get heavier.
This might not be the reason you quit the sport, but you have decided to get back to it now. Unfortunately, you cannot return to the sport as if you left it yesterday. After days or weeks off, here are our ten tips for a smooth return to sport.
10 Tips for Returning to Sport After Break
1. Go to the doctor for a medical check-up
Before getting back to the sport after a break, or due to coronavirus, the first thing you have to do is to visit a doctor for a medical checkup. Because you haven’t done sports for a long while and when this shutdown occurred, an imbalance occurred in your body. To do this, before doing sport again, it is essential to visit your doctor for a medical check-up.
This consultation should be able to reassure you that you will return to sport with peace of mind. The doctor may also, taking into account your condition, advise you on activities not to start anytime soon. This contributes to the achievement of your objectives.
If you took the eight weeks of confinement not to practice any fitness exercise, know that you are in pain when you recover. In addition, it would be better to also make a few appointments with the osteopath. This professional could help you eliminate the potential functional problems that the stopping would have caused. Otherwise, these disorders would attract more or less severe pain to you when you return to sport.
2. Know your goals
You can’t return to exercise after weeks of being off just because you want to. In this case, you will quickly throw in the towel. So, knowing your goals is one of the best tips to get back to the sport after a break.
Before putting on your sneakers and tying the laces, you need to ask yourself the right questions. “Why do I want to do sport again: is it to shape my figure? To lose my saddlebags? Is it to lose my extra pounds? Is it for better health? A late feel better in my body? Gain muscle? Achieve performance? Or does powder reduce my joint pain? “
These are all questions that will allow you to define your goals, and to know your needs in order to establish an adapted training program. Because it is according to your requirements that you must choose activities, for example, you would favor muscle exercises if you had to relieve your joints.
3. Choosing the right activities
For your return to the sport program after a long break, the best tip you need to choose your activities wisely. Keep in mind that you cannot perform great yet. Therefore, you must accept the events that seem affordable to you.
Choose exercises that you particularly enjoy, those that do not require too much effort. Above all, don’t be ashamed, and don’t compare yourself to others. For some people, walking is already a sport in its own right. This is already the first step!
These are the exercises that will gradually get you used to the sport before quitting. In the beginning, you have to give full power to the fun. Let him guide you, and get you back into the mix. Indeed, it is challenging to do sport again if it is to be experienced as Stations of the Cross.
It is not a question of practicing these activities over several sessions. Whatever goal you set, these exciting activities will be mandatory steps. They are sources of motivation to persevere in achieving the goals you have set for yourself.
4. According to your objectives, equip yourself well
There is nothing more disheartening than not having the right equipment for the scheduled exercises. yes, you read it right, one of the most important tips to get back in sports after a long while is to equip yourself well.
In this case, your program will quickly go into a spin. So, to achieve your goals, you must have the right equipment. If you can’t afford them, you need to purchase a membership at a well-equipped gym. In any case, the basis is already to have proper sports shoes adapted to your sporting practice.
To get back in shape, you must have at your disposal equipment such as the fitness floor mat, fitness bars, dumbbells, or even a fitness and cardio-training machine. If, on the other hand, your goal is to lose a few pounds gained during the period, you must have equipment such as the stationary bike, the elliptical trainer, the treadmill, the stepper, or even the rower available. The most important is the shoes. Opt for running shoes. Choose the size that suits you, the model you like, and your favorite color.
5. Define the perfect location for the sessions
Where to do the sport also impacts our motivation to go there. As we said above, if the distance from your home to the place must seem like a Station of the Cross, know that you will quickly lose motivation. The gym or defined location should not exceed 2 km from your home or workplace. Choose a distance you can walk. This gets you in the mood before you get there to run your fitness program.
In addition, if it is a gym, opt for an accessible formula. If the cost must also suffocate you, it is inevitable that you will give up very quickly. Take a short-term subscription first. But if the long-term subscription seems affordable, you can get it too.
The main thing is always to be motivated to go. The other aspect, is you have to be sure that the opening hours of the room suit your schedule. If you are free in the morning, make sure the room opens early.
If it’s in the evening, you’d better be sure the room will still be open when you leave work. Finally, the gym must be well-equipped according to your goals. It is more than essential to see vital for the achievement of your goal.
6. Take it easy
A week, two weeks, a month? No matter how long the stoppage lasted, when you resume exercise, you must go gradually. This, is so as not to rush your body and cause disorders.
Opt above all for gentle activities. Over time, you will increase the intensity. You can start with heart rate rehabilitation. You can also try working your breath or building muscle.
In frequency, softness is also in order. You can start with 15 minutes every day, twice a week. Then go to 30 minutes and so on. By going gradually, you allow your body to readjust, and you can better understand your current physical capacities to adapt to your sports program.
7. Before any session, warm-up; after the stretch
When you resume sport after a break (more or less long), the pain and the risk of injury are higher. For this purpose, before each session, you must warm up well, and raise the body temperature in the joints and muscles. This prepares you for physical activity and prevents cramping or other muscle pain during exercise.
After the session, it is also important to stretch. This prevents or reduces muscle soreness. Indeed, stretching allows you to relax your muscles and keep them flexible.
8. Resume sport together
Obviously, doing sports with others is useful. This helps achieve its goals—more for a recovery. Returning to sport after a break with friends, colleagues, or girlfriends can be a source of motivation. This allows you not to give up anytime soon. The collective atmosphere will be an essential asset.
9. Don’t neglect hydration
Hydration should not be overlooked. This is a mistake made by many people. Unfortunately, by depriving your body of water, you reduce its capacity, which increases fatigue. In addition, the risk of getting injured becomes great. If you must be tired only 10 minutes after starting the fitness program, your workout will not benefit you.
Sports coaches recommend hydrating before, during, and after a workout. It is advisable for men to drink about 700 ml for one hour of activity and for women, 600 ml.
10. Eat a good diet
Eating a good diet is one of the major tips for getting back to sport, whatever goal is set, you will not be able to achieve it solely through sports activity. You have to combine it with healthy eating.
Because you are returning to the sport, you should focus on fruits. Indeed, these provide you with the energy necessary for your sessions and the sugar needed for your body. Thus, it is recommended to eat bananas every morning before starting your session. Dried fruits are also to be preferred.
Vegetables are rich in minerals, fiber, and vitamins and are also recommended, but after exercise. They allow you to rebuild yourself and compensate for the loss of nutrients caused by sweating. The lens, the peas, the rice, or pasta are also essential.
Also, favor dairy products for your bones. The ideal is to alternate milk and cheese. Since vitamin D is essential for bones, don’t neglect the liver and eggs. Depending on your goals, you can also take certain food supplements as long as you choose them well. For the maintenance of your muscles, fish and meat rich in protein are essential. These decrease the risk of injury.