Most of us know what it is like to fall off our workout routine. It can be hard to keep up a regular exercise routine with all the commitments we have to fulfil. Tied up between tedious work schedules, never ending household chores and maintaining a personal life, workout can take a set back. With the ongoing pandemic, we've been caged inside our homes with absolutely no motivation to get up from our couch, let alone exercise on a daily basis.
There are many barriers that could be keeping us from maintaining this fitness routine. Most of us have time limitations with so many other tasks to be completed within a single day. Individuals suffering from an illness, injury or recovering from surgery keep exercising aside to focus on their health. Many people prefer going to the gym for solid muscle and strength training to keep up with the physical activity for our bodies, but gyms have their own timings, off days and expenses. As a result, we are currently slacking on our fitness routine with the gyms being closed to the public. Dealing with the fatigue and soreness the next day can be even more exasperating. Individuals find it especially hard to keep up an exercise habit at home. Every time you pick up the yoga mat, your bed seems more comfy than ever before, inviting you to drop all responsibilities and get under the covers!
Statistics show that nearly one third of those who make resolutions in January don't even last a week before abandoning them. Regardless of all these challenges that keep you from exercising, there is definitely the hope that we can decide to pick up on our exercise regimen any time. To set a flexible, stress free routine for our physical activity and fitness can be hard to follow, but with some helpful tips, daily motivation and the right frame of mind, there is no way it cannot be achieved.
What can you do to achieve consistency in your exercise habit?
Getting back on track can be fairly intimidating, especially when it has been a long break. A hiatus from your workout routine can cause multiple irksome issues once you get back to the routine - fatigue and muscle soreness, tiredness, boredom of following the exercise routine and much more. The degree of your progress is largely dependent on your total time off, the intensity of your reason for taking a break, and your fitness level prior to it. A review article by Shape magazine discusses the good, bad and the ugly of taking a hiatus from your workout and it comforts all of us out there who have given in to the break for much too long.
Here are some tips to get back in the game :-
1. Take it easy
It is important to give your mind and body time to ease back into the fitness routine. Indulging in intense workout sessions right in the beginning can be too overwhelming for the body. Your body may give way because of injuries or sore muscles if it is rushed into strenuous exercise right from the beginning. The level and intensity of your workout can be adjusted as per the body's allowance and time. When you start off with small physical activity like cardio and stretches, you will tend to enjoy working out and feel more motivated to move forward with it.
2. Start with flexibility workouts
Integrating flexibility workouts in your daily exercise is not only beneficial for those who want to maintain a substantial fitness regimen, but also normally for people who wish to get release tension and aches from their body. These workouts increase blood flow and circulation while assisting in range of motion and joint mobility. An exercise routine focusing on flexibility like yoga helps ease the muscles for further training and is great for controlling blood pressure.
3. Don't skip on cardio fitness
Many people think a fitness routine revolves solely around muscle training and weightlifting, whereas a truly fit exercise regime includes an adequate amount of cardio for the warming up of the body. With an agreeable weather in your favour, taking 20 minute long brisk walks is highly recommended. Using a treadmill or a stationary bike is a great alternative for indoor cardio fitness to get the kilometres covered. Cardio helps substantial weight loss and also preps and eases the body to start training for building the muscles.
4. Set a realistic goal
Ryan Campbell, personal training specialist at Anytime Fitness says that while setting a goal is great, the increase in your odds of success with a SMART goal is noticeable. It must be understood that everybody's body reacts differently to exercise. Results of the exercise will vary from person to person, depending on factors like their body type, physical health and illnesses, diet plan etc. It is important that we set realistic exercise goals expected in appropriate time to be able to successfully attain them. Very often the disappointments of not reaching our goals can be demotivating and make us drop out of our fitness cycle.
5. Steady your body into muscle training
People often employ an exercise physiologist to help them with their extensive workout plan and training to understand the body's response to exercise. A personal trainer can be employed to recommend the best and most effective workout patterns to build up the muscle mass. While this muscle training is found to be easier practised at the gym with the accessibility to equipment for weight training, exercises like squats, planks, bench press etc can be effortlessly done at home. These particular exercises are integral to see visible results of growing muscle size.
6. Keep your diet in check
Keeping your diet in check is the most key point in seeing positive outcomes from a fitness regime. An ample portion of nutritious meals at regular intervals including all kinds of healthy foods is important to boost your exercise results. A neglected diet can be pretty harmful as the body does not receive enough fuel to work through all the high intensity training you are putting it through.
7. Take enough rest days
Russell Wynter a NASM certified master trainer and co-owner of MadSweat says "You should have at least one day of rest before attempting to work similar muscle groups again," says Wynter. "The general rule is it requires a minimum of 48 hours to recover with full recovery seen within 72 to 96 hours post workout," in an article. "Working out, especially resistance training, breaks your body tissues down. In fact, resistance training breaks down muscles causing microscopic tears," said Wynter. Rest days ate instrumental in allowing the muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.
8. Consistency is key
Consistency in working out will bring more substantial results than periodic extreme fitness routines. A good combination of workout and rest days in a week shows more promising results of flexibility, strength and muscle development in the body. Even though maintaining a strict pattern of routines can be difficult, achieving a balance between your off days and getting enough exercise done is key.
9. Remain active on your off days
Sore muscles can be a justifiable reason enough to spend the next day after an arduous workout in bed. And even though it is normal and very much expected, it is beneficial to be active on these rest days as well. You will be more ready to tackle your next workout if you do a little exercise on your day off. Some basic movements will help maintain consistent movement and tension release in the body. Stretches are the most helpful to inculcate this habit.
10. Prioritise your mental state
Miami-based Barry's Bootcamp trainer Kellie Sikorskiand says,"Doing too much too soon can overwhelm you mentally and a rigorous routine may eventually feel like too much to deal with, which in return makes you feel defeated." It is essential that you prioritise how you feel about working out on certain days. Working out with a bitter state of mind will not only decelerate your fitness progress but will cause a sense of resentment when you exercise unhappily.