I just worked out for my first time in six months. And man, was it hard. The class I did today I used to do without breaking a sweat. But after a half-year hiatus, I had to keep stopping throughout class and I know I’m going to be beyond sore tomorrow.
Let me clarify: I haven’t been sitting on my butt for the past six months. As most of you know, I had an injury last September. I’ve been in physical therapy ever since. My therapist finally gave me the okay to start working out once a week. I’m thrilled that I’m allowed to start exercising but after taking such a long break it’s scary!
But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? With the help of my physical therapist, and my actual therapist, I’ve come up with a 6-step plan to get back into working out to build a stronger mind and body. I just wanted to share in case you’ve taken a break from exercising too and want to get back into it.
- Ease into the amount of workouts.
- Remember it’s all about progress not perfection.
- Take it slow.
- Listen to your body.
- Make sure to stretch.
- Smile because your body is working.
That’s the list I’m working with to get back into working out. I’ll go into a little depth if you’re interested below. Also, ClassPass has majorly helped me get back into my workouts. I’ve actually used ClassPass for years. It’s how I’ve found all my favorite studios in LA. I forgot to cancel it while I was injured so I just used my credits for facials. But now, I’ve been finding new studios that have low impact workouts as I ease back into things, which brings me to number one of my six step plan…
#1: Ease into the amount of workouts.
I used to workout about three times a week. To some, that’s nothing. But to me, that was a number I felt I could commit to. After taking such a long hiatus, I’m going to have to ease back into that number. My physical therapist suggested I start with one workout a week (combined with my physical therapy exercises) for the first few weeks to see how I feel. If you’re not in physical therapy, you could try one workout a week and walk a few times a week. It’s really all about getting the body moving again.
My physical therapist also stressed the importance of taking rest days in between workouts as you’re easing back into fitness. So even when I get back to my three times per week, I’m going to make sure to spread them out over the week.
#2: Remember it’s all about progress not perfection.
To be honest, this is the hardest one for me. I’m a perfectionist by nature. It was beyond frustrating in my first class that I couldn’t do as many crunches as I use to, or squat as low as I did last year. I had to keep reminding myself that I’ll get back to my former ability. It just takes time.
#3:Take it slow
If you do too of an intense workout after no exercising for so long, you can injure yourself, regardless of whether you were injured before. It’s more important to get the form right in slower motions rather than sped up reps. I’ll admit, I was a bit embarrassed in class when I was squatting at half the speed of others. But I knew I really needed to focus on each body part as I moved.
I told the instructor before class that I was injured and I might be modifying or taking it slow. It made me feel a little bit better that she knew why I wasn’t “perfect” in class. Again, it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress (I’m more writing that as an additional reminder to myself!).
Right now, I’m easing my way into fitness with lower intensity workouts. I can’t wait to build strength so I can box again. I had so much fun boxing before my injury! But I have to listen to my body and I know I’m not ready for that. Speaking of listening to your body…
#4: Listen to your body.
This was actually one of my intentions for 2020. It’s important for every aspect of your life, especially fitness. The minute a felt a tweak in my back, I stopped that particular exercise. Your body speaks to you. All you have to do is listen.
#5: Make sure to stretch.
This one is pretty self explanatory. I personally love a good stretch at the end of a workout. I never understood the people who skipped out early in class.
#6: Smile because your body is working.
Being able to stand, being able to walk, being able to do just one sit-up, that is all something to smile for. There are people who can’t do any of those things. Hey, for weeks I was one of them! I kept reminding myself of this during class, when I got frustrated with how my body was performing. At the end of the day, just having the ability to workout is worth smiling about.
Do you have any fitness tips that helped you after a workout rut? I’d love to hear them!