5 tips to help you get back into an exercise routine
Many of our routines changed due the pandemic, including exercise. For some, exercise increased as working out from home became the new normal. For others, exercise came to a halt. Matt Pollack, MD, shared five tips to help you get back into your exercise groove.
“Whether it was due to lack of time because kids were at home, constant access to the pantry, increased stress or lack of access to a gym, physical activity and diets changed for many of us. The fact is many people are facing the repercussions from their lack of exercise, and now is the time to take action and make changes,” said Dr. Pollack.
Dr. Pollack offered these five tips to help you as you get back into an exercise routine.
- Talk to your doctor. Explore your physical health with your primary care provider before getting back into any strenuous physical activity if you suffer from any chronic health conditions or if it has been a while since you have seen a doctor. Screening for underlying cardiovascular conditions can be helpful for determining a good starting point for your exercise routine and can also prevent potential problems before they arise.
- Find something you enjoy doing. Starting up a new exercise routine can be a challenge, so make sure you choose something you will enjoy doing. If you hate running, don’t run. If you enjoy working out with others, find a way to add group exercise classes to your new routine or look into playing a team sport.
- Stay motivated. The motivation for working out seems to be half the battle. Figure out ways to motivate yourself as you get your routine going again. Whether it’s finding a friend to keep you accountable, joining an online community or hiring a personal trainer.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Getting back in shape takes commitment and time. It is okay if your new workout plan doesn’t go perfectly or you fall off the bandwagon. Don’t get discouraged or be too hard on yourself during this process.
- Set realistic goals. Start slow and set realistic goals for yourself. It is important to start at an appropriate level given your current physical shape. That may mean you aren’t lifting big weights when you start. Or it may mean signing up for a 5K months from now so you have time to properly train.
Taking care of yourself by exercising regularly is one of the keys to decreasing risk factors for health conditions and increasing better health outcomes. “Don’t ignore any symptoms you may feel as a result of getting back into physical activity. If it is something outside the normal soreness that is expected to occur with a new workout routine, talk to your doctor,” said Dr. Pollack.
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