3 tips for returning to training after a long break
Patience is a virtue.
It’s never easy to come back to training if you’ve been off for a long time. I’m not talking about returning to training after a two-week holiday in the Maldives… that’s just hard because you have to come back to reality. When I say ‘long’ break, I’m talking about returning after a substantial period of time, months or even years.
You may be coming back after an injury or after a period where life (read: work, kids, study, whatever) has just gotten in the way. Whatever the reason for being absent, if you are returning from a long break you’ve probably reached a point where you’ve realised that training is now a ruthless priority. I wanted to share some tips with you to make sure you do it the right way and achieve the best results.
Ease into it, let your body adjust slowly to moving in ways that it used to.
Once back training, you may be tempted to pick up where you left off. This is what NOT to do. Avoid making the mistake of comparing yourself to how you used to be before you stopped. You’ll only get disheartened when you can’t do the same and it will be an uphill battle from there. I know, I’ve been there myself with a few broken bones that have stopped me from training how I have wanted to for months on end… so I can empathise. It’s a tough pill to swallow.
Be kind to yourself, you only have one body and I’m guessing you want to be able to train properly for the rest of your life. Chucking the same weight on a barbell that you lifted a year ago is going to lead to injury… or a sore ego when you can’t lift it off the ground.
Don’t get carried away.
If you’re coming back from injury and it feels good, then keep it good. What I mean by this is don’t get carried away and load up because you don’t feel pain. Allow your body get strong again and see how things feel the next day. Maybe stay at the same weight for a while. Dip your toes in the water, if it feels good, then wade in a little further next time.
Training Recovery Tips
Here are a few tips to ease the post-workout aches for those returning from a long break:
Tip 1 – Move. The best way to recover from those sore muscles after training is to get the body moving. Do Yoga, Movement, Stretch Therapy or even go for a walk, jog or run. This will help pump blood and oxygen around the body which will help the muscles recover a lot faster.
Tip 2 – Eat well. Give your body the nutrition it needs to repair. Your body requires that fuel to regenerate new muscle tissue and restore your energy stores that have been used up during exercise.
Tip 3 – Get quality sleep. Sleep isn’t going to be replenishing if it’s not quality. There are many factors that will affect sleep. One that goes back to my last blog is Alcohol. It might make you feel sleepy and relaxed but it can inhibit the production on the human growth hormone. This is the hormone that is produced in your sleep that stimulates cell production and restoration.
Turn off your phone, switch off the lights and sleep.