March 2022

How to Start Working Out Again After a Long Break

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How to Start Working Out Again After a Long Break

With every new season comes the possibility of new fitness goals! And whether you’ve been trying to stay active with at-home workouts or hiding out from the cold on the couch, now is the perfect time to restart your fitness routine!

If you’re worried about getting back into the swing of these, don’t be! It’s never too late to regain the fitness you’ve lost. Your body is an incredible machine, and it won’t be long until you’re knocking down your fitness goals again or even surpassing your previous goals. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get back into working out.

Re-Engage With Your Why

It’s not easy to jump back into fitness after a long break. Your body will tire more easily. Movements that used to feel easy may be surprisingly challenging. This is why it’s so important to have a clear understanding of why you’re putting yourself through all of this.

Think of your why – the reason you want to improve your health and fitness. Do you want to maintain a good quality of life? Keep up with your kiddos? Be able to dance at a wedding this summer?

Take some time to consider what motivates you. Then, use your why to stay motivated when you hit rough patches during your return to fitness.

Set Realistic Expectations

Time for some tough news. According to Men’s Health, it only takes a few weeks of inactivity for your body to begin losing muscle mass and cardio fitness. If you haven’t been moving as much (or at all) over the past few months, you can’t expect to rock your normal fitness routine. Instead, re-set your expectations. It will take time and effort to regain what you’ve lost. Set aside your previous routines and personal records and focus simply on improving from where you are right now.

Create a Plan

One of the reasons why the pandemic knocked so many of us off the fitness bandwagon was because it dramatically changed up our routines. With all the changes, it was easy for our normal workout sessions to get lost in it all.

As you re-engage with fitness, create a clear plan to hold yourself accountable. Schedule your workouts. Choose a consistent time and date for your sweat sessions and try these tricks for prepping for your workout.  

Start Slow

When it’s time for your athletic shoes to meet the dance floor, make sure you go slow in the beginning. If you’ve been totally out of the fitness game for a while, focus on simply getting your body used to moving again for the first one or two weeks. Perform small sets with light weights and give yourself plenty of rest. Yes, it may feel irritating to go slow, but diving in and trying to do your old fitness routines may lead to injury or burnout. Be gentle with yourself and give your body the chance to readapt to getting back into working out again.

Try the 5-Minute Rule

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of facing off against a long, challenging workout? In an article for Women’s Running, writer Emily Skye suggests trying the five-minute rule. Commit to just five minutes of working out. If, after five minutes, you’ve had your fill, then stop and call it a day. Many times, just starting a workout is the hardest part. After five minutes, you’ll realize that you can go a little longer.

Join a Group Fitness Class

If your exercise motivation has ditched you somewhere between the 100th Zoom meeting and an irresistible binge of the latest show, then try signing up for a group fitness class. The beauty of an exercise class is that all you have to do is show up. The instructor will create the workout for you and show you each of the steps. Many times, just being surrounded by fellow exercisers will get your competitive juices flowing, and you’ll find yourself dancing, squatting and lifting like a champ.

Just remember to take it slow. If you need to, take breaks during the class or modify the movements so that you don’t push yourself too hard.

Ditch the Negative Talk

Whenever that negative or doubtful voice in your head tries to whisper things like “you’ll never get back into shape,” send that negative voice packing! 

There’s no room in your world for negative self-talk. Whenever that negative voice tries to return, fight back with positive self-talk. Praise yourself for giving your body all the benefits of exercise. Remind yourself that fitness is a process. Remind yourself that the point of exercise is health and wellness.

Remember to Include Mobility and Recovery

Adding mobility training and recovery to your fitness routine will be more important than ever after a long break. Take extra time to warm up with dynamic stretches before your workouts and to cool down afterward. (Note: if you take a group fitness class, warm-ups and cool-downs are usually part of the class.) If you feel soreness or tightness, use a foam roller to help release that tension.

Drink water during your workouts and take rest days. Get plenty of sleep and nourish your body with healthy eating. The more you care for your body between workouts, the better you’ll do in the gym.

How to Start Exercising Again with Jazzercise

If you want a fun, challenging, and uplifting fitness experience, join us at Jazzercise. Our studios across the country feature a wide array of classes, including dance-focused classes, high-intensity interval classes, strength-based classes and a variety of hybrid classes that offer a full-body cardio and resistance workout. (We also offer on demand classes if you’re not quite ready to hit the gym yet.) Our instructors are friendly and motivating, and our classes are for all ages and all fitness levels. You don’t have to feel nervous about joining our classes. We’ll welcome you with open arms… and then give you an unforgettable workout experience. Getting back into working out again is as easy as signing up for your first Jazzercise class.

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