Many of us love to renew wellness efforts in the spring. But if you’ve been out of the workout game for an extended time due to a long illness, like covid-19, getting back into an active routine is easier said than done. In fact, you could easily overdo it and cause injury or make yourself sick. Don’t, however, let this discourage you from getting started. With the right guidance, you can ease back into exercise safely.
How to Ease Back into Exercise After An Extended Absence
Before beginning any new exercise routine, stop by your healthcare provider’s clinic for a visit. They’ll tell you if it’s safe for you to return to physical activity and what kind of activities you should start with.
Most healthcare experts will advise you to start with small steps and frequently change up the routine. For example, a former runner might ease back into their exercise starting with interval training or jogging twice a week while practicing low-impact workouts like yoga two or three times a week. Cross-training like this helps build endurance.
Strength training provides another key to rebuilding physical strength and resilience after a long illness, injury, or other absence from exercise. The key is to not push yourself too hard. Don’t add more weight to your strength training than you can handle at that moment, no matter how much you once could lift.
Think of your body as being in a similar condition as it was the very first time you began working out. It’s not quite as simple as re-learning to ride a bike. Your muscles crave the exercise, for sure, but they also need to be babied while they adjust to being used again.
We mentioned yoga as a low-impact exercise to practice at least twice a week. Yoga is a great strength-training exercise and stress reliever. You can increase this exercise as you gain strength. All you need is a mat, a water bottle, and a few Pinterest boards or Youtube videos to help you learn the moves. It’s a great exercise to do with your kids or the entire family!
If you go to a gym, take advantage of their personal training services. Most local gyms have a personal trainer on staff who can help you develop a workout routine based on your healthcare provider’s recommendations and their own knowledge of physical activity. Look for one who will monitor your workout to make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly and safely.
If you’re not ready for the gym, you might also start with a brisk walk around the block a few times a week. Walking offers a low-impact exercise perfect for beginners.
One last safety tip to remember is to adjust your diet as you begin exercising again. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight due to an illness should be sure to consume plenty of healthy proteins and vitamin-rich fruits and veggies to stop any further unhealthy weight loss. Plus, your diet is also key to strengthening your insides and a healthy heart and lungs are essential to life and staying healthy enough to exercise.
Are you ready to get back into a fitness routine after a long absence due to illness or injury? Stop by EliteCare before you begin a new routine to discuss your plans and get a health check from your provider. We want you to be active but we also want you to be safe! Stop by our clinic anytime during regular clinic hours.