Returning to a fitness program is an exciting, and sometimes worrying, time, particularly if you have not worked out in some time. There is one mistake you need to avoid when you start back to ensure that you get the most from the work you will put in.
It’s three months since you have done anything remotely resembling physical activity, and it’s your first day back at the gym. You feel fit, enthusiastic and ready go. And in that over-enthused state, you end up overdoing it. Which feels fine on the day, but the next day feels like it should never have started.
You have aches and pains in parts of your body you never knew existed and even picking up a cup of coffee results in unbearable pain. The upshot is that you avoid going to the gym for a couple of days, and all your good work on the first day has come to naught.
There’s a simple workaround to this problem, and it is a rather attractive solution. Try and do as little as possible on the first day back from your erstwhile sloth regime. Take it easy, and do not go overboard.
The reason is, it becomes very difficult for your body to adjust to a new regimen all of a sudden. What seems like the most wonderful exercise session while you are working your way through it is actually a rude wake up call for the muscles in your body.
And while they may play along for the moment, make no mistake, they will make themselves felt in no small measure about twelve hours later. Instead, you would be far better off doing some light stretching exercises, and a moderate amount of cardiovascular exercises. A brisk walk and a reasonable cooling down period would in fact be your best bet for the first couple of days.
Leave the heavy duty stuff for a couple of days down the road, when your body is ready to accept the extra workload. In fact, most health professionals recommend next to no weights during all of the first week. Apart from the fact that your body is not used to it, it can also lead to muscle spasms and tears, and these can take a very long to heal.
So if you have actually begun the process of getting used once again to some physical activity, do remember – easy does it!