Let’s say something has happened to derail your fitness. Perhaps an injury, some travel, or life circumstances. Maybe it’s been weeks, months or even years since you did anything serious about getting back on track.
Maybe you didn’t get derailed because fitness just hasn’t never been on your radar.
The phrase, “You’ve got to start somewhere” comes to mind.
But where? It’s possible that you already have some plans for that. That’s great. But if you don’t, sometimes wondering where to start can stop you in your tracks.
Here’s some ideas for you.
- If it’s been awhile, meaning even a few weeks, you can go back to what you were doing, but cut it by half. See how it works out, and then build up. You can add back in fairly rapidly as long as your body is doing well.
- Test and verify. Let’s say you stopped (or didn’t start) because you were hurting. If it has mostly subsided, go back to a few things and try them out. Go slow! If there is a certain move that you are afraid to do because it might hurt, go in slow motion! See what happens. Often your body is better than you think it is, or will be. You are still favoring the painful part but are not really sure how painful it still is. Of course, if the pain kicks in, you will have to stop doing that particular thing. Don’t give up! Figure out what else you can do.
- Do a longer warm-up than usual. If you are not in the habit of warming up, add it in to your routine. You will not regret it. Suggestions for warming up: walk for 10 minutes. Pull your knees toward your chest, alternating (helps wake up your balance too). Make big circles with your arms to warm up your shoulders. March in place while swinging your arms side to side. If you are about to lift weights, start with some light weights and do bicep curls, tricep extensions, overhead presses, alternating punches to the front, and bent over rows. This will not take you very long. The light weight may bring awareness to you about a move that is stiff or hurts a bit. In that case, you can eliminate that from your routine or stay with the light weight as tolerated.
- To warm up your lower body, do some bridges with both feet on the ground (see below), side lying leg lifts with no ankle weights (see below), and ab crunches, alternating knee to opposite elbow (see below). This will get your core into the act as well.
- Come to think of it, you could combine all these for a total body warm-up and starter routine. Here’s the list:
- Walk for 10 minutes or march in place while moving arms side to side.
- Pull each leg toward your chest, knee bent, alternating. 10 times.
- Make 10 large circles to the front with your arms, then 10 circles to the back.
- Grab some light weights (you will have to be the judge of what this means for you). Do 10 each: Bicep curls, tricep extensions, overhead presses, alternating punches to the front, and bent over rows.
- Get on the floor (mat) and do 10-20 bridges, then 10 side-lying leg raises, and then 20 abdominal crunches as described.
For a quick finish, do a full body stretch! Lay on your back, stretch your arms overhead as far as you can, and stretch your legs in the opposite direction as much as possible. Stay there and breathe for 5 breaths. Done!
If you need to “Start somewhere” you can use this routine or use the guidelines above to get you back to exercising regularly. Good luck!
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