How to Avoid Overdoing it When Starting to Exercise Again
Most people have been cooped up in and around their homes for the last few months. COVID-19 and the resulting quarantines and stay-at-home orders have changed many aspects of life for almost everyone, and that include exercise and fitness routines.
A lot of people stopped exercising regularly when the coronavirus hit and, now that many things are opening up in many areas, you might be itching to get back. However, it’s important to ease yourself back into your workout program, rather than jumping back into to where you left off. If you’ve been relatively inactive for a while, it’s understandable to be anxious to get back, but you’ll want to avoid overdoing it.
Too much too soon can overwhelm you mentally
Jumping back into your old routine right away has several negatives. One is that it’s easy to feel discouraged if you try to do what you were doing before and you have trouble. Easing into things will keep you from feeling demoralized.
Do what feels comfortable
Did you used to work out five days a week? If that doesn’t feel good right now, don’t feel pressured to do it. Even if you want to start off with one workout a week and work up to more, that’s better than rushing.
Remember to rest
Everyone needs to rest in between workouts. This is especially true if you are just getting back into the swing of things. Rest and recovery are important, and you may need more rest when you’re starting back up.
How to Avoid Injury
If you’re starting to work out for the first time in a while (such as if you’re coming back from quarantine), not only can it be easy to lose motivation, but it’s also easy to suffer an injury if you rush back too quickly.
Here are some ways you can reduce your chances of getting hurt.
Listen to your body
There’s a difference between feeling sore after a good workout and being in pain. If something feels weird, gives you pain, or hurts more than you feel it should, take a break and slow down.
Include a warm-up and cool-down
A good warm-up prepares your body for activity and a cool-down helps you recover. Both are important. Don’t skip them because you want to rush into things.
Start off with one workout and see how you feel. Begin with a lower intensity than you’re used to. For instance, lift a bit less than you’re used to or run a shorter distance. There’s no need to jump back into things immediately. Over time, you can ramp things back up.