Tips for Returning to the Gym After a Hiatus

Jumping back in to exercise should be done with caution.

This winter has been tough for a lot of people. This pandemic has been rough on a lot of bodies. But it’s a new year now, and with vaccinations on the rise and Covid-19 numbers leveling out, it’s okay to start being a bit optimistic about the summer.

The problem is, most of us decided to skip the gym during this trying time, and our bodies probably aren’t where we want them, from a fitness and/or bikini bod perspective.

The answer to this quandary of course, is to hit the gym. However, after a long hiatus, it is unwise to jump back into regular gym activities as if nothing has changed.

Here are a few ways to support your body, as you begin your fitness journey anew.

Stretch Before and After. Stretching the muscles keeps them flexible, and is one of the best ways you can avoid injury. Especially if it’s been a long time, do stretches before and after your workout to give your muscles the support they need.

Drink Protein. The healing period after a workout can be supplemented by protein shakes or supplements. This will speed up your recovery, and give you the extra calories you need to build.

Ditch Your Expectations. Be kind to yourself, and don’t expect too much. If you manage 10 minutes at the gym after a long hiatus, you are on the right track.

READ MORE: Are You Washing Your Gym Clothes Often Enough?

Lower the Weight. Do not jump right back into the same old workout. Lower your weight, and allow your body to build back what it lost slowly. Muscle memory is amazing, and you would be surprised at how fast you can snap back into shape.

Don’t Overdo It. If it’s been a long time, your inclination might be to hit the gym hard, and face the consequences later. You risk injury by doing this. Your best bet is to ease back into things and allow your fitness to become a healthy habit again.

The most important thing to remember when you go back to the gym is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a lifestyle, not a random hobby. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you.

Congratulations on deciding to get back into shape!

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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