How to Return to Fitness

By: Sonia De Rose

We all have a break from training for one reason or another – wisdom teeth removal – postnatal events – injuries and work/life commitments.

Whatever your reason, and however long your hiatus there are a few golden rules to make your comeback easier and more manageable.

1. Talk to your coach.
Have a good honest discussion away from the gym floor – with your main coach/trainer. Let them know your worries and goals for the return, Ask them to help you stay on track the first few weeks – when the habit or rituals of training are at their weakest. Let them prepare the workout options to dial you into your sessions, keeping in mind your time away from the gym.

2. Make a plan.
Put your gym activities into your daily schedule by minimising the disruption to your work/life balance by planning ahead. Simple things like packing your gym bag the night before, or calling a friend to meet you at the gym, all help with the decision to get your butt back into the gym.

3. Feel empowered.
Never feel selfish for taking an hour out of your day to workout. Your health and vitality improve every time your train. You will improve your energy levels and sharpen your mind. Home and work life is far easier to deal with when you have spent an hour or so, elevating your endorphins and balancing your metabolism.

4. Chase the quality of life not the immediate results.

Being functionally fit might sound cliché, that is until you see someone who cannot get their shopping into the boot of their car without assistance, or need a handrail to walk up and down stairs. As we age, we lose muscle mass, this accelerates if we have sedentary or desk jobs. Use it or lose it may be an old saying – but it has never been more accurate.

5. Start slowly.

It is important to start gradually with your training, whether resuming from an elite background or a novice, you will get far more days in the gym, if you are not pulling up too sore. The intensity and loads can come later. Even when the session feels easy, you will still be getting benefits.

The other things in the right dosage are:

Sunshine – get outdoors

Sleep – get 7-8 hours a night

Nutrition – get away from sugar – eat more protein, nuts and seeds

Laughter – find your sense of humour and be a positive human

Magnesium – it improves muscle recovery, is good for your heart, brain and cells.