Once you do start to incorporate external load, focus more on lighter weights with higher rep counts (think: 12 to 15 reps) over lifting heavy, Scantlebury says. This will help build up your muscular endurance before you shift your focus to increasing your muscle size or strength (which require lower reps and heavier weight). Continue to work on your cardio too, by including endurance activities like walking, biking, and rowing into your routine. Building up your cardiovascular endurance can help you tire less quickly in workouts—thus reducing the risk of injuries caused by fatigue-induced form errors, Scantlebury says.
Quick note here: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can be an awesome goal to work toward, but they’re not something to start with right away. The high-effort, low-rest programming is very demanding on your body, Savage says. Instead focus first on performing exercises at a slower, controlled pace with longer rest periods (say, 60 to 90 seconds to start). Over time, you can gradually build up from low and moderate intensity workouts to higher-intensity styles of training, if that’s what you enjoy.
4. Schedule rest just as you do your workouts.
If you’re eager to rebuild your fitness as quickly as possible, you may be tempted to work out a lot to get there. But exercising too much without proper rest can actually put you on the fast track to burnout, overuse injuries, and decreased performance, as SELF previously reported.
So when you’re beginning a fitness routine again, remind yourself that “rest and recovery is just as important as the work you do in the gym,” Savage says. To start, plan for at least one rest day in between workout days—you don’t want to train the same muscle group on back-to-back days, Savage says. These breaks are especially important when you’re strength training, Pierson adds, since that creates microscopic tears in your muscles. In order to get stronger, you need to allow your muscles enough downtime to repair those tears.
Rest days can look a bunch of different ways: They could center on extremely chill activities (like watching Netflix in bed), or more active recovery, like stretching, foam rolling, yoga, walking, or easy biking. In fact, if you’re feeling soreness after your workouts—also known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)—incorporating those kinds of gentle movement can actually help, by boosting blood flow to reduce the pain.
5. Think about sleep.
As you ramp up your fitness routine, make sure you’re taking care of your body in other ways, too.
“It’s a balanced approach,” Pierson says. “It’s not just physical fitness.” In addition to nutrition, hydration, recovery, and stress management, one other big factor worth prioritizing is sleep.
Don’t forget that “working out is ‘work,’”physical therapist Karena Wu, DPT, MS, CSCS, tells SELF. It takes a lot of time and energy, so you may feel more fatigued initially when you start exercising again, since your body is trying to adapt to the increased stresses of it. “If I’m so exhausted that I’m walking around like a zombie, I might opt for some more sleep on a particular day,” she adds. In other words, don’t be surprised if you feel like you need any earlier bedtime than usual—more sleep will ultimately help your body adapt to the new training you’re putting it through.
6. Prepare your body for what it’s about to do.
Make sure that every routine includes a dedicated warm-up and cool-down. “A lot of times, we’re so excited about getting back into our journey that we just want to hop straight into the workout,”Savage says. But neglecting a proper warm-up can increase your injury risk and also just make your workout less effective, as SELF previously reported. And a cool-down helps your breathing ease and your heart rate return to baseline, so you don’t want to skip that step, either.
CNN Hosts Twitter Troll Comfortably Smug, Who Peddled Hurricane Sandy Lies
Psst! Ann Taylor Has Secretly Chic Workwear Fits on Sale Right Now
Director Stephen Gaghan Shares New Tragic Details of Heath Ledger’s Death
Former NFLPA president explains why he believes league’s franchise tag is ‘un-American’
Gary Neville stuns fans with ‘thoughtful and sharp’ Dragon’s Den return
People Who Have Had COVID Face a Much Higher Risk of Chronic Fatigue, Study Says
The Mystery of Partner ‘Convergence’
17 Women Share the Reasons They Stopped Wearing Makeup
The 5 Best Skin Care Products You Can Buy at Costco, According to a Dermatologist
This Is What a 37-Year-Old Face Without Filters or Makeup Actually Looks Like
Nintendo Sues Makers of the Wildly Popular Yuzu Emulator
The Willy Wonka Event’s Lead Actor Speaks Out: ‘It Was Just Gibberish’
Elvis Presley: The Low Salaries He Paid Led to a Humiliating Moment for His Bodyguard
‘Teen Mom’ Fans Suspect Farrah Abraham Is Pregnant After Suspicious TikTok
Elvis Was ‘Disgusted’ When He Watched Himself in Films
News22 hours ago
A little-noticed inflation report in the past could get a lot of market attention on Thursday
News22 hours ago
Westlife star Mark Feehily reveals he is QUITTING the band after falling ill with sepsis – as they prepare to embark on first ever US tour: ‘I wish things could be different’
Tech22 hours ago
Neuromancer Is Finally Getting Its Long-Awaited Adaptation
News22 hours ago
‘The Challenge’ Season 39 Reunion Includes Fights Between These Cast Members
Tech22 hours ago
That moment when you land on the Moon, break a leg, and are about to topple over
News9 hours ago
Here’s where to get the best deals for leap day 2024
Tech8 hours ago
13 Brutal Stories From People Swindled By Elon Musk Impersonation Scams
News23 hours ago
New York lawmakers push bill cutting down on plastic packaging across state