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Home » Fitness

Getting Back on Track: How to Return After a Fitness Hiatus

Submitted by Lisa Johnson on October 13, 2010 – 12:08 am6 Comments

You didn’t mean to.  You were steaming along training for the 5K or keeping that thrice weekly gym commitment and then it just … sorta … died.  Your job got hectic, but that wasn’t really it.  Your family obligations piled up, but that wasn’t really it, either.  You just sort of let go of the steering wheel and coasted.  You’re not sure why.

Here’s how to get back on track.

Acknowledge you slacked off. This isn’t the end of the world.  Let it go and get back into your fitness routine.  Don’t beat yourself up; you’re back in the saddle and that’s what matters.

Don’t try to make up for lost time. There’s no use doubling up workouts and pounding yourself to try to make up for lost time.  Just start where you are and move forward.  Going from not much to super intense workouts is a good way to get injured.

You didn’t lose as much ground as you think. Once you get a base for fitness — say working out for three to four months — even if you slack off for a week or two you won’t lose that much ground.  Expect your first workout back to be tough and after that you’ll probably be in pretty good shape.  By the third or fourth workout you should feel back into your usual routines.

Set a fitness goal. Maybe it’s to do ten “real” pushups, or run a 5K, or play in a basketball tournament for charity. Whatever it is, it should take a little bit of work for you to get there.  This will keep you motivated.  Once you reach your goal, immediately set another.

Bribe yourself. Fill this out:  ”If I do  _____________ (fitness goal) then I’ll reward myself by ___________ (non-food item treat!).”  Think of something indulgent like a massage or something geared towards the goal like a new yoga mat.  Be creative, make it worthy of the goal, and go for it.  Post a picture on your fridge to remind yourself.

That’s it.  What do you think?  When you slacked off how did you get going again?  What is a favorite trick that you’ve tried or heard about?  This can be a great inspirational post!

For some added inspiration

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  • Julie says:

    Wow – this could not have come at a better time. I am currently at my highest weight in several years and have not worked out since last February. Prior to that I was an avid gym member, spin class participant and serious weight lifter – and I was 122 at 5’4″.

    I am going to print this one and make today count!

    Thanks Lisa

  • Lisa,

    Home run once again. I love the “Work got busy… that’s not it…” It is so true for me because all of these issues are around choices. When I let “health priorities” go, I am choosing to not take care of myself – which underlies all of my stuff. I’ve been good lately on the working out, but have sliding on the fuel part. Little things like eating breakfast and drinking water, for me are the gateway to taking time to prepare and eat clean food the rest of the day. I have to take baby steps – I am not just naturally or intuitively healthy – so today I will eat breakfast and drink water LOL

  • Lisa says:

    A recent running injury meant I had limited activities I could do for about a month or so. I still swam and in order to NOT going bonkers, I started a weight lifting program (upper body only). It’s done wonders to keep me sane while I rehab my leg.

  • Lisa Johnson says:

    Julie go get ‘em! Would love to know how you do. :-)

    Kris, those are excellent first steps. It doesn’t need to be a big rush of activity you can layer the steps in over time. :-)


  • Lisa Johnson says:

    Foodie, glad I could be of service :-)

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