You had a healthy living plan, you thought you were committed to it, but somewhere along the way you fell off the wagon. Maybe it was because of the winter months, maybe it was due to added hours on your job, perhaps family or relationship pressures played a part. Don’t stress, it happens, and you’re not alone. But now you’ve shaken yourself out of your inertia and you want to get your health and fitness regime back on track. Here are some tips on how to achieve the fastest, safest return to form.
Don’t rush in.
Just as you wouldn’t buy your first ever pair of running shoes and then enter a marathon, you need to get back into your exercising habit slowly. Balance is the key. Set aside some daily exercise time that you’re comfortable with, and then increase it by small increments each day, confidently building your strength and stamina as you progress.
For example, if you’re running, don’t jump back in with a twenty-minute run that leaves you exhausted. You don’t need muscle pains or body fatigue that prevents you from running again the next day. Instinctively, you know what your body can take. Starting out with a five or ten-minute run, and then after a few days increasing that to fifteen, and then twenty, might be what works best for you. The same approach can be applied to other physical workouts, including weight-lifting and swimming. Start out small and build at a steady pace.
Healthy eating boosts your energy.
Lack of exercise and junk foods seem to go hand in hand. Once you’re working on your fitness again, you’ll also be wanting to treat your body to a healthy diet. Plenty of protein food should be on your menu, along with fresh salads, soups and grilled fish with veggies instead of chips. Drink plenty of water. When your diet and your exercise are in sync, your energy levels, body fitness and general wellbeing are elevated and you’ll find yourself getting a whole lot more out of everyday living.
Set goals and have a daily plan.
How do you work toward all of the above and stay the course? It’s all in the planning. For starters, set weekly goals for your exercise and your healthy eating, create a daily schedule you can follow that keeps you on the right path. For example, aim to reach a specific amount of running or swimming time each week. Your goal might be half an hour the first week, 45 minutes the second, and an hour the third week. Mark off each goal as you reach it.
Having a workout partner is another great way to help you get back on a fitness routine and to stay with it.
Be consistent, take it just one step at a time, and before you know it you will have reclaimed your health and fitness mojo, making you stronger both physically and mentally.