Spring Training Guide: Tips for Easing Back into Working Out
The days are getting longer, the sun is feeling warmer, and suddenly you realize bathing suit weather is right around the corner but you haven’t been working out! If you are like most people, you break out your running shoes and jump right into an intense workout. Then about a week later you are injured and have to stop. Instead of shocking your body and risking injury, why not try these tips and tricks to ease back into an exercise routine pain-free. You’ll have that summer body and still be able to enjoy the warm weather, healthy and fit.
Set a Goal. Before beginning any journey it’s important to know your destination. Decide what your goals are ahead of time so you can map the path to get there. Do you want to add muscle, get faster, or tone up? Knowing these things will help guide you to your goal.
Start Slow. If you were running consistently in the past, your body may have been comfortable at a certain pace. But if it’s been awhile, it is always better to go a little slower until your body has adapted to running again. By starting slower, you prevent those overuse injuries from creeping up.
Warm Up. Even though temperatures start rising in the spring, you still need to warm up your body before doing any intense activity. If you are training outside, start with 5-10 minutes at a lower intensity to let your body warm up gradually.
Know Your Limits. This means listening to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, take a break. Check in with yourself. How am I feeling? Do I feel any sharp pain? It’s OK to be cautious when you are restarting a routine.
Do Half Time. Start with less reps or do just half the amount of sets as you did before. If your muscles are not used to lifting weights, you’ll likely be sore the next couple of days. By doing half the volume, you’ll cut down on that soreness so you can be back in the gym sooner.
Lighter Weights. It seems obvious, but if your body has been inactive for a while, your muscular strength will have decreased. Try starting with 50-60 percent of what your peak weights were.
Work with a Coach. Having someone coach you can help you train smarter and avoid injury. You can workout with a personal trainer or join a sports team. Working with an expert is the best way to ease back into your fitness routine.