Finally, spring is starting to make its appearance in New York. As the flowers start to bloom, many people decide that this is time to get back into shape for the summer and immediately throw on their beat-up running shoes to hit the gym.
Noam Tamir, owner of TS Fitness, cautions against diving right back into your old workout routine. “Even if you were very active last summer, your body is in not prime condition after a winter break,” said Noam. Everyone’s body is different so the impact of a break will really depend on your fitness level before you stopped working out. We’ve prepared a list of tips to get you back into exercising while avoiding injury.
Going too hard or too fast can lead to injuries, like lower back injuries if you aren’t used to bracing your core or stress fractures if you jump right back into long-distance running.
And if you become injured, you can’t work out, eliminating the entire purpose of returning to the gym. Start easing back into your workout routine slowly. We always recommend that you begin any athletic activity with a dynamic warm-up, focused on mobility and breathing to rev up your body and get you ready for the rest of your workout.
Noam suggests that you aim for your to be short and moderate in difficulty, lasting no more than 15 to 20 minutes It never hurts to start slowly and build back up to your former routine more gradually. If you have taken sustainable time off, train like a newcomer.
We recommend introducing low impact exercises like yoga or pilates to help build you up outside the TS studio. If you enjoy group fitness classes like our HIIT classes, make sure you choose a studio that has small class sizes as you are likely to receive more attention from the coaches. You also want the ability to modify the workout to your current conditioning--consider scaling down the exercises to what feels comfortable.
If your routine is more focused on weight training, you may want to consider relying on bodyweight exercises for your first few sessions before returning to weights. Personal focused workouts such as TS’s Group Personal Training can provide you the necessary instruction to avoid overtraining as you ramp up your exercise. Common symptoms of overtraining include being overly sore to a point that you may want to skip your next session or if you experience joint soreness. Your muscles likely will be tender but if you feel it in your joints, you should reevaluate your routine. If you were stopped training due to an injury, our coaches can even speak with your Physical Therapist to incorporate and modify movements accordingly.
In addition to starting slowly, you should also begin making other healthy lifestyle changes, like improving your diet. Typically, if you are eating healthier, you usually have more energy to both physically and mentally fuel your workouts. “People are able to use a new workout routine to improve other areas of their life, like nutrition,” said Noam. We always recommend keeping hydrated, especially when working out. Noam suggests drinking water throughout the day with an end goal of consuming about ¾ of an ounce of water per every pound of body weight.
Trying to get back into a routine can be tough so you should look for ways to increase your accountability and make it fun. If you are struggling to get off the couch, don’t go about it alone! Find a friend of a similar fitness level to accompany you to classes or join you for a light jog. By making commitments to others, you will find it much easier to meet your own goals.
If you know you really need a push, hire a personal trainer to create a program for you that will help you get back into shape.
Committing to an improved lifestyle is more than just hitting the gym hard and fast. It will take time for your body to adjust back to working out and the results may not be obvious at first. Athletic people do have the benefit of bouncing back a bit quicker than those that were less active but there is still a pretty significant learning curve for your body. Don’t get discouraged! Our team at TS Fitness is here to help you meet your fitness goals and to keep you accountable along the way.