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How To Start Running After A ‘LONG’ Break

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If you have been hibernating throughout the pandemic (and who can blame you?), the thought of getting back into those running shoes can seem a little daunting. Don’t be deterred from sweating it out because challenges can be a good thing! Exercising is as much about mental training as it is physical. We have listed out a few pointers that will help you get back into a habit of working out.

Check out this article to discover other alternatives to running.

Adjust expectations

When getting back into a fitness routine, you may be tempted to overhaul your routine and set unrealistic personal expectations. However, a rigorous routine may put your body in a state of shock and make you feel overwhelmed and ultimately defeated. It is important to adjust your framework and shift your focus from the wrong metrics and align your goal with trying to re-establish an activity.

Schedule your workouts

Between work commitments, social events, family obligations and self care, it might seem downright impossible to find time for exercise. Scheduling your workouts helps you ensure that opportunities for distraction are unable to deter your resilience. Commit to your workouts in the mornings or evenings depending on what time of the day suits you the best and follow it like a calendar event. By incorporating exercise in your routine, you will gradually become habitual of the daily activity.

Remove friction

Remove the mental friction associated with the workout by making it easier to show up for yourself. Simple changes like keeping your running gear and clothes next to your bed and your shoes by the door can help you gather the motivation. Moreover, tracing the root of ‘why’ this feels so difficult may help remove deeply embedded obstacles. 

Ease into it

A short amount of time off the gym can cause substantial detriment to your health gains and physical performance levels that you may have achieved. If you are struggling to get back into exercising and feeling overwhelmed by it, sometimes it can be useful to take it slowly. Remember that the aim is to ‘Make the body, not break it’. Analyse your nutrition patterns and take a metered approach towards resuming your training routine. If you are not comfortable committing a full week initially, start by logging off two days and build your way up to four sessions per week. The body responds to consistency over time, so your results will come much faster if you maintain a regular pattern and frequency.  

Remember your ‘why’

Often we focus too  much on the effort rather than the outcome. You need to remind yourself of your ‘why’. When the activity is more about how it serves you rather than any superficial cause, then it becomes a habit that sticks. Each time you exercise, know that you have worked one step towards your goal and celebrate that. To regain focus and motivation, remind yourself of the rewarding post-workout high. 

Remember habits are created by the consistent daily activities we chose to put our time towards. So 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.

Watch this video to get in-depth information about getting back into gear.

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