So I am happy to report that I just finished my first two-week program after a month of not doing anything following knee pain. Of course, it would be ideal if my workout routine is continuous but stop-and-go is better than not exercising at all, isn’t it?
Maybe you are in the same situation – taking a break, having some pain, or thinking of starting working out. My best advice is to just do it! It can be challenging at the start but you will only ever have to do 30-seconds at a time.
Each day that you manage to work out is a success that you can be proud of! Following are some tips that I hope can motivate you to begin today.
1. Choose multiple short exercises rather than one long routine.
Three 10-minute workouts seem more doable than one 30-minute long exercise. Of course, the length is the same but breaking it up is easier for the mind. Each short routine done is a success and the momentum creates new energy.
After a layoff, the mind needs more convincing. I usually tell myself, I will only do the first 10 minutes and stop if I do not feel good. I always finish the rest. The hardest part is not the exercise but getting up to begin.
2. Start with the low-impact version.
Even pro athletes start with light training post-injury or after a period of inactivity. The body needs to get used to the movements again. It does not matter what crazy things we can do before – a gradual increase in intensity is necessary to ensure there are no accidents and that the body is ready for what we ask of it. Don’t ever feel bad for doing low-impact or modifications! Eventually, we will return to our previous shape and perform in the same high level. Here is a HIIT for beginners, in case you are keen to try.
3. Get loose.
Yoga is such a useful practice. It increases flexibility and range of movement and helps to tone and strengthen the body. Every time I stop high-intensity training, I make sure to do yoga daily to keep my muscles and joints fluid.
It is also a good measure of how my body is healing. Certain postures point out areas that are ready to go and highlight those that still have kinks. Fortunately, it is easy to modify yoga poses and do them in a way that opens the body correctly.
4. Do not force it.
Understandably, we want to work out as soon as possible – it is healthy and it makes us feel good. But on our first tries, it is a must to be aware of how working out affects our body, especially if post-injury. If something is off, or worst, hurting, we should not force it even if it means extending the layoff for a few more days or weeks. Otherwise, we will only miss double the time or hurt ourselves further.
5. Be patient.
It is incredibly frustrating to be sidelined, especially if we feel we have been doing so well. But life happens and we just have to deal with it. We must be patient with ourselves, even if it means beginning from zero again.
I always feel heavy in the first week of training but it is nice to see the improvements as I keep going every day. Consistency is the key here. We just have to do something every day, not as a punishment for what we ate or for what we did to get injured but to see what our bodies can do and how far our minds can take us.
Our efforts will never be wasted or taken away from us. Let us just pick up where we left off and use the time to work out instead of complaining or being in a bad mood.
Have you been exercising lately? When was the last time you worked out and how do you feel about it?