Most of us have been there – we pulled a muscle, broke a bone, or had to endure a surgical procedure. Getting back into a fitness regimen can be more difficult than we think. Our habit of going to the gym is no longer a habit, our cardiovascular capability is lacking, and our strength is half of what it used to be. But what to do? Ease back into it! Follow these guidelines to help you stay on track, minimize the likelihood of burnout, and dwindle the chance of re-injury.
The whole idea behind “easing” back into something means to start slowly. You can still do (most of) what you did before, but take it down a notch. Set the machine at a lower intensity, or start at a lower weight. It’s suggested to reduce the weight used to about half of what you lifted prior to your exercise “break.” Also, extend your warm-up and cool down time to help protect your muscles as they strengthen. As your workout becomes less exhaustive, you’ll know you’ve turned the corner!
That being said, this hypothetical corner is different for everyone. You have to be patient. Just like losing a few pounds, the change doesn’t happen overnight. Slow and steady wins the race. Try to pay special attention to your body. Are you feeling fatigued? Stop if pain increases or if you feel weak. Pushing yourself before your strength is there will only elongate your recovery time.
Our Medically Adapted Gym (M.A.G.) program is ideal for people who need to get back into exercising but are recovering from an injury or surgery. As the Director of M.A.G., I assist you in your journey and create an individualized workout regimen that fits your needs, while also being accessible to answer your questions. Curious to learn more? Call me at 717.735.8880.