Getting Back to the Gym After a Long Break: 6 Helpful Tips

Woman exercising with a ball

So it's been quite a while since you hit the gym. Whether it's due to raising a baby or that life has just been a bit too chaotic, your fitness level isn't what it used to be-and that's okay! The important thing is that you're ready to get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately, if you haven't worked out in a while, your first day back can seem intimidating. But instead of feeling self-conscious and unmotivated or overdetermined and burning yourself out, follow these helpful tips and important steps to take when getting back to the gym after a long break. 

1. Treat Yourself to New Activewear

If it's true you haven't visited the gym for some time, you might need some new activewear. So treat yourself to some super comfy and slimming workout leggings and a sports bra. Leonisa's workout leggings can give you a smooth moisture-wicking fabric to keep your body free of sweat. And since women's breast sizes tend to fluctuate, it's especially important to choose a supportive sports bra that holds the girls in place.  

Shop All Women's Activewear

2. Prepare Ahead of Time

Now that you have chosen some great activewear, get excited to use it! Set yourself up for success and prepare for your workout the night before. Lay out a cute gym outfit, complete with your new leggings and sports bra, as well as sneakers, a hoodie and a pre-filled water bottle. With everything prepared, you'll wake up ready to go--no excuses! Plus, when all you need to grab is a gym bag and snack as you leave home, you are more likely to commit yourself to an exercise routine. So prepare everything you possibly can ahead of time the night before.

3. Be Gentle on Your Body

When getting back into the gym after a long break, remember to be gentle with your body. Even though you're excited and ready to make your body feel good, don't get so overzealous that you burn out or, possibly worse, injure yourself! This is the time to get real with yourself and be honest about your current physical shape and fitness level. Of course, if you were away from the gym due to medical reasons, always consult your doctor or physical therapist first. But as a general rule of thumb, start with low-intensity exercises and work up from there. 

4. Choose Enjoyable Exercises

Woman jumping rope

Whenever you start a new routine, choose exercises you know you enjoy. While it seems logical to try out the latest new exercise trend and switch things up to prevent boredom, stick with what's familiar first. Join a fitness class at the gym, like a beginner yoga class, with a friend or sign up with an instructor you know, holding yourself accountable. Later on, when you're feeling more active and confident, then you can try out the latest fitness fad to see if it's something you like. But first, stick with what works. 

5. Stay Positive and Take Baby Steps

Remember to stay positive when getting back into the gym. As you look around, try not to compare yourself to the other ladies that may be training more regularly. Each woman's body is unique, just like yours! So take baby steps and soon enough you'll increase body strength and endurance back to a level you can be proud of. To gain back your strength and reach better endurance, here are a few baby-step size exercises:
  • Stretching | 10 minutes: Make sure to stretch and warm-up before your workout. Since it's been a while, your muscles are going to feel it!
  • Strength training | 20 minutes: Using free weights or gym equipment, start with some strength training and isolate certain muscle groups. 
  • Cardio | 30 minutes: Try some easy cardio exercises to get your heart rate up and blood flowing. Start with a treadmill, elliptical or cross-trainer. 

6. Even Short Exercises Are Fine

While it takes some effort to get yourself to the gym, don't feel obligated to spend an entire hour there. You may not be able to run as many miles as you once could, but it shouldn't stop you from spending at least 10-15 minutes doing some form of activity. Don't skip your exercise routine, even if it's just a quick walk on the treadmill. 

Ready to Get Back?

Woman doing sit-ups

Whether you're beginning to exercise again after having a baby, undergoing surgery or merely because,'ve just been overwhelmed with other priorities in life, remember that you've got this! Follow these tips for motivation and a successful return and you'll be back in shape in no time.

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