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9 Simple Ways To Start Exercising Again After A Break

Written by: Meghan Jarvis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


If you've taken a break from your regular workout routine, these tips will make it easy to start again.

athletic woman running at the beach

Sometimes life happens, and we can get a little off track. Family commitments pop up, sickness kicks in, or you get stuck with overtime at work. Then suddenly, your exercise routine goes from regular to non-existent.

I know what it's like to have a perfected routine and something unexpected happens. You miss a few workouts, and suddenly, you're in a rut. So, the question is—how do you get back into routine?

The first thing to remember is that it happens to all of us. All the time. And no matter how daunting it might feel to get back into the swing of things, it is possible to restart your exercise routine. All you need is a little support and a few small steps to make it happen.

Here's how to start exercising again after some time off

If you have found yourself a little off track, here are some of my tips on how to restart your exercise habit and get back into a healthy routine.

1. Start with something easy

If you are struggling to get back into exercising and feeling overwhelmed by it all, sometimes it can be helpful to start with something easy. If going to a big weights session at the gym is too much, then get outside and go for a brisk walk or a light jog just to get moving. As soon as you start with something small and feel good, you'll want to continue and get back into your healthy habits.

2. Stick to the "five-minute rule."

A lot of times, when you're just getting back into the swing of things, the idea of doing an entire 30-minute or hour-long workout can be incredibly daunting. Which often leads people to give up before they even get started.

So, if a long workout feels overwhelming, commit to just five minutes. If you start working out and you just don't have the energy to keep going after five minutes, you can be done for that day. More often than not, once you are up and moving, you will feel good and want to keep going. But just start with five minutes and see where you end up.

3. Remember how good it makes you feel

Sometimes we focus too much on the effort of it rather than the outcome. The thing with a workout is while it can be challenging at the moment, very few people will say they don't feel better afterwards.

So, if you find yourself struggling to lace up and get out the door, it's okay to acknowledge that you need something to help you refocus and motivate; just remember that post-workout high. Aside from some sore muscles, you will never regret a workout.

4. Schedule it

If, even in the back of your mind subconsciously, you are looking for an excuse not to work out, you will typically find an opportunity for a distraction to deter you from your plan. That's why making time specifically for your daily exercise is essential.

Schedule a time that you won't get easily distracted. There's no "perfect time" to work out; it's about your schedule and preferences. If you know that you get caught up at work in the evenings, schedule your morning workout. If mornings are too busy, then schedule your workout in the evenings. If you know it's going to be a crazy busy day, then just commit to a quick fifteen-minute HIIT session, as doing something is always better than doing nothing.

5. Prep the night before

Exercising in the morning used to be your thing, but now you struggle to get up early? Put guard rails around your morning routine to help make it easier to get back into a rhythm.

Prepare your gym bag the night before and lay it next to your bed. Put your alarm on the other side of the room so that you will have to get out of bed to turn it off when it goes off. Once you are out of bed and your gym bag is already packed, you may as well get up and go.

For those of you who typically exercise after work, the same rule applies in terms of packing the night before. Have your gym bag ready and place it next to your desk. This will be a good reminder of what you have committed to, and you will be less likely to back out.

6. Commit to a one-month challenge

If you want to start making exercise a habit again, try taking on a short one-month challenge to kick-start your routine. Lots of gyms, yoga studios and boot camps offer one-month challenges. Having it broken down into a smaller time frame won't feel so overwhelming.

If even 30 days feels daunting, try lowering the barrier further by committing to a two-week challenge. (Like our two-week treadmill challenge.)

The key to these challenges is the same: They aren't about jaw-dropping results; they're designed to help remove that overwhelming "I don't know what to do" feeling by providing a clear and distinct plan to follow while at the same time increasing consistency and compliance.

7. Find an exercise buddy

It's straightforward to pull out of your workout if it's just yourself you have to answer to. Having a friend, work colleague, or family member to workout with is a great way to boost motivation, hold each other accountable and stick to your workout routine. It also adds a social aspect, which brings a little more fun back into working out.

8. Think outside the gym

Going to the gym every day is not a requirement. Being fit and healthy can look a lot of different ways. Especially when you're struggling to stay consistent with your workout routine, being more flexible with the mode of exercising can help you stick with it and feel better in the process.

Find ways to mix up your workouts and incorporate other exercises you enjoy into your routine. Picking up social sports, going for a jog on the beach, or simply walking the dog are great ways to stay fit and healthy.

9. Do it for yourself, not anyone else

This may be the most important rule to remember. I always say, "Don't workout for anyone but yourself." Being fit and healthy should be about making yourself feel great, having confidence and aiming to be your best. Remember to do this for yourself, not for anyone else or how they think you should look. Each time you exercise, know that you have done something good for yourself and celebrate that.

Remember, habits are created by the consistent daily activities we choose to put our time towards. Therefore, the more consistent you are with your exercise routine, the easier it is to form healthy habits. Once it's a habit, you just go on autopilot and exercising is part of your daily life.

If these were useful for you and you were able to start a new habit this year I would love to hear from you. Fee free to contact me and check-out my next article on All the Powerful Strategies You Need to Age Slower and Stay Younger.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Meghan Jarvis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

A former World Class BMX bicycle racer, Meghan came to Australia to play professional basketball and stayed as a lead lecturer at the Australian Institute of Fitness. Meghan's passion for fitness and entrepreneurialism led her to found WellCorp Health and Wellness and Buzvil, a global health and fitness app. She most recently appeared as an actor and stunt woman in the new Blockbuster 'Elvis', the Portable Door, Aqua Man and has been a 'Ninja' on Channel Nine's Australian Ninja Warrior. She is also the head of Total Gym Fitness Equipment Australia, Suspension Training and Altitude Training International Master Coach, making her an authority on peak performance and an international speaker. Her experiences as an athlete, educational portfolio (Masters of Education and Coaching Science, Kinesiologist, Sports Scientist), entrepreneurial ventures, and enthusiastic character have shaped her as a formidable leader in health and fitness. She believes strongly in the importance of redefining and bridging the gap between physical and mental health. Meghan has guided many people to achieve complete personal breakthroughs and phenomenal mind, body, and business growth.



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