Are you struggling with getting back into your game after a long break?
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, coming out of off season, or life has just gotten in the way, it can be difficult to motivate yourself back into a consistent fitness routine. We have all been there at one point or another. Yes, it will be tough. You may experience struggle, feel sluggish at times and be so sore you don’t want to even think about the gym. The key here is: with commitment and consistency, comes change.
Below we will outline 6 tips to keeping you on the path to progress after a short, or even very long break from training.
1. Answer the Question, Why?
One of the first things you should do when you are getting back into training is decide why you are doing it. Making goals for yourself, long-term and short-term, will help you maintain motivation when the excuses begin to muster in your brain.
Are you looking to lose weight? Do you want to make it to the Olympics? Or do you strive to complete your first triathlon?
No matter the nature of your goals, having them may keep you inspired when your muscles ache and your will power seems to slip away. You need to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal – and dig a little deeper to drive your inspiration. Try writing it on a sticky note or on your bathroom mirror with an expo marker. This way you can see the reason you work hard each and every day and you can repeat it to yourself. You will inevitably encounter struggle on the road to progress, but never lose hope because the struggle is temporary!
2. Focus on Your Nutritional Needs
Every fitness junky knows that your nutrition is a key component of success, but it’s especially important to getting your mojo back and training like the best! We are not just talking about eating healthy here, because every single person requires different nutrition that is beneficial to them. One person may be gluten sensitive, where as another is lactose intolerant. You are better off tailoring your diet to your body’s specific needs. After taking the Athletic Genetix DNA Test you will know exactly what you need to reach your goals and they are there to guide you through the entire process!
3. Get Your Zzz’s
Sleep is a highly overlooked part of fitness, but it can make or break your progress, really! When our bodies lack sleep and rest – these parts of our performance are negatively impacted.
Significant Decrease in Focus & Reaction Time
Increased in Likelihood of Injury
More Muscle Fatigue & Inflammation
Irritability & Mood
When you experience sleep deprivation your overall health takes a beating and you may find yourself quitting or giving up more readily than ever. Believe us when we say, “SLEEP HARD and you can TRAIN HARDER.”
4. External Rewards
If you are truly struggling to stay motivated, try small external rewards with yourself, along the way. For example, if you are looking to stick to a training schedule and you “CRUSH IT” for a full month – treat yourself to a brand-new training outfit or that piece of equipment you have always wanted! Yes, there are those of us who are intrinsically motivated, but you may be one of those people who just needs a little extra push to get you going. There is no shame in wanting a little personal, external incentive.
When you feel good inside and out, you will stay more inspired to get up, get dressed and never give up.
5. Choose an Accountability Buddy
Getting up for your 6 am cardio session before your long work day can be difficult. You may be tempted to hit the snooze button and skip out. You might tell yourself, “I am really tired, it’s okay, I will get up tomorrow morning and do it.”
However, if you knew someone is waiting for you at the park, for a morning run, would you be more likely to roll out of bed and lace up those sneakers? We think the answer is yes.! There is nothing like having a friend there to hold you accountable for your goals and to share in the sweat & burn of a great training sesh!
Trust us, you may discover a whole new you if you have a partner that’s counting on you or a trainer that has set time out just for you.
6. Listen to Your Body
Another important thing to understand when you’re beginning to get back into the routine, is to listen to your body and take it slow. Your body may not be as conditioned as it once was and it is not smart to jump all in, like you never stopped. Remember to…
Take time to Stretch and Mobilize your Body every Session
Start Light if you are Going Back to Lifting – Quality over Quantity
Schedule Sessions for Injury Prevention Work – Foam Rolling, Stabilization and Massage
Your body should dictate when and what you train. For example, if you woke up and you feel like you got ran over by a mac-truck take the day off. If you want to do something, focus on recovery like icing, rolling and stretching instead. Or go for a light yoga session to refresh the mind and the body. There are always options, but only you know truly how your body feels, so if it’s holding a neon sign—you better listen!
We are not saying you won’t experience struggle, have lazy days or want to make excuses, in fact, it is guaranteed that even the PROs like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and Mia Hamm went through self-battles to get where they are today.
You will always have ups and downs; the sky is the limit, but these tips are here to help you push beyond those obstacles with your head held high. Try it out and you may just surprise yourself with how fast it all comes back! With a little inspiration, nutritional advice, a smidge of accountability from friends and a few extrinsic rewards, you know you can do it! At this point, it’s about choosing to START and putting one foot in front of the other.
Athletic Genetix was created to empower and educate athletes, using their DNA to derive game-changing plans to fuel their future.
Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your sports consultation.