Ease your way in and build up slowly…
If you’re over 50 and haven’t been exercising for some time, it can feel daunting to restart again. It can feel disconcerting when you hear other people talking about all the exercise they’ve been doing and the progress they’re making, especially if you’re feeling a bit out of shape yourself. You might even have seen TV shows or read articles about the latest fitness trend, spouting off about the “no pain, no gain” methodology – pushing yourself to the limit to get fit, lose weight and tone up. Well that might be fine when you’re someone in your 20’s and about to join the special forces, but it’s not a good idea when you’re a bit older and here are 3 big reasons why;
Risk of Injury
If we’ve not been exercising regularly for a while, our muscles will have lost some condition. We may not be as strong as we once were and undoubtedly will have lost some fitness. Embarking on a high impact, intense exercise regime too quickly can lead to injury. Not only can injuries be painful, they set us back physically and mentally.
If you embark on an unsuitable exercise programme for your current ability you may well find it overwhelming and unenjoyable. If every time you’re scheduled to go to the gym or for a run, it feels like a drag and you dread going because of how it previously made you feel, you’re unlikely to keep it up for long and that would be a pity as ultimately you do have the desire to improve your fitness.
Every time you exercise you want to feel that you’re moving forward. If you’re pushing yourself to exhaustion from your first session, you have nowhere to go and it might well put you off doing it again if you don’t feel like you’re making any progress. You want to have a sense of achievement after every session, no matter how small – a little bit further on your run or a few more reps of an exercise will always give you a little boost.
So what’s the best way of getting back into exercise?
If you haven’t exercise for a while, but want to get back on track, here are my top tips;
Do Things You Enjoy
Whether it’s walking, swimming, playing golf, running or cycling etc. If you enjoy what you’re doing you’re much more likely to stick to it. If you’ve not done any form of exercise for years and you’re not sure what you might like now, ask a friend and see if you could go along with them and give it a try. Exercise is not a one-size-fits-all, so find something that suits you and you’re more likely to be consistent with doing it. Local exercise classes often offer free trial sessions, so have courage and try something new.
Don’t think from day 1 you need to be an expert. Work at your own pace and build up slowly. After each session, plan when you’ll do the next, so that you start to create a new exercise habit. Consistency is one of the most important keys to success. You’re far more likely to achieve your fitness goals if you partake in your activity regularly and build week on week, rather than going all out on session one, burning out and never doing it again!
Build for More
Each session set yourself a small incremental goal for progression. Push yourself a little bit harder each time, whether it’s walking a little further or a little more actively, doing a few more reps or increasing the resistance. When you look back over time, you’ll see how far you’ve come.
Get Some Help
When it comes to exercise, there’s so much choice and sometimes that can feel overwhelming. If you’re not sure how to get started with exercise or what’s the right option for you, why not get some help and guidance. Resources like Horsham Wellbeing are great for finding out about exercise and activities going on the Horsham area (if you’re reading this elsewhere, your own local district council probably has something similar). Alternatively getting a Personal Trainer can be a great way to get started with a more bespoke exercise routine which will give you some initial structure and help build your confidence. If you’d like to explore this option further, here’s how you can work with me. i offer a complimentary consultation call to have a chat with potential clients to see if I am the right trainer to help them.
Whatever stage of life you’re at, there are so many benefits to regular exercise – physically, mentally and socially. And so many ways to enjoy exercise – at home, with friends, at a leisure centre or talking a simple walk. Have fun whatever you decide to do.