Are you in a workout slump? Is it time to upgrade your fitness plan?
If you’re like me and the hundreds of thousands of other daily exercises, there will come a time when you’ll miss a week or more of workout time. When this happens don’t stress or panic. It will take more than a week or two before you start to lose muscle tone. This, of course, is taking into consideration how good a shape you are in.
You will find that it’s perfectly normal to take a break now and then . . . . to give your body the needed rest in-order to recover from the stress it goes through when exercising.
However, when that time stretches into weeks or longer, you will need to re-set your priorities by reintroducing your daily workout routines.
Why did you miss your last workout?
It happens to all of us. It may be work commitments, vacation, family situations, injuries or illness. The important thing is to get back on track by any means necessary. We all know the benefits of being fit and healthy — the very reasons why you started exercising in the first place.
Some people like to take off the winter months or the holiday seasons and wait for the spring to begin exercising again. This is why you will notice you local gym is packed between Jan and March –lots of members are trying to get back into shape for the warm weather activities or for an upcoming event such as a wedding or family reunion.
I would advise against this type of training because it could lead to major health consequences, especially as we become older. I am sure you have read the sad stories of people having heart attacks or hurting themselves so badly by starting an exercise program after a long layoff. Many end up having to seek medical treatment and forego any further thoughts of exercising. Don’t be one of these casualties.
Reset you your workout schedule
If you are out of shape due to a long layoff for whatever reason, it’s time to re-program your mind and reset your workout schedule to start-up again no matter the season of the year or time of the month. Naturally, you can’t start where you left off. You won’t be as strong as you were or have the same endurance as you did a month or two ago.
To avoid setback you will need to start at about sixty to seventy percent of your last output. The good thing is that the muscles have memory and, like riding a bike, once you start you will quickly return to your previous condition.
How long should it take to get back in shape
Depending on how good a shape you are in, it shouldn’t take long to get back to your fighting shape. However the longer you stay away from exercising, the longer it will take to snap back. For example, if you have been working out consistently for weeks and months before your layoff, it may take only a few days to resume your normal routines.
If however you were an occasional exerciser it will take longer. I would even go so far as to recommend seeing your doctor before resuming any strenuous activity if you have been inactive for more than two months.
Dangers of over-training
As mentioned previously, breaks are important for your body to recover from the daily pounding. Also, based on my experiences, there is the danger of over-training whereby you are setting yourself up for injuries. Your body can become so tired from training that you are not performing your exercises correctly. Taking a week or two off periodically is recommended for those who train intensely. Longer than this and you may begin losing some muscle tone and your endurance begins to suffer.
When you do start-up again, go slow for the first week or so after which you should be able to resume regular training. I would recommend getting a workout partner who can encourage and keep an eye on you. Don’t forget you may have to do the same for them one day.
Also when you resume . . . . do so with purpose and conviction. Have a plan to schedule period breaks — after all you take vacations from work why not from your exercise routines. Just don’t make them too long or you will end up in a cycle of always trying to get started again.
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