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Getting Back on Track

Saturday, July 05, 2014

We have all taken time off from our exercising with the intent of getting back on track in a few days. After a while we realize that a great deal of time has passed. Now, you don’t feel so back about missing the exercises. What should we do?
“Most of us feel guilty when we've gotten off track with our workouts and maybe we're even afraid to get our bodies moving again. As a result, we often keep putting it off until we're so far away from regular exercise, getting back in shape seems impossible. But no matter how long it's been since you've exercised, putting it off isn't going to make it any easier. You're better off facing where you are and starting from there…
1. Admit where you went wrong. Take some time to think about what happened to throw you off track and what you might have done to prevent it, if possible.
2. Stop kicking yourself. Guilt, when taken too far, can sometimes keep you from getting back to your healthy habits (e.g., I'm such a loser and I obviously can't stick with a program, so why bother?). Give yourself a time limit (say 20 minutes) for feeling guilty. When time's up, put it aside and move on.
3. Figure out your weak areas. Now that you're trying to get back into exercise, you know how hard it is once you've gotten off track. Now is a good time to look back at common situations that tend to throw you off and notice any patterns. Do you ditch your workouts every time you leave town or have to work late a few nights in a row? Becoming aware of your weak areas and planning for them can help you stay on track, which is your next step.
The only real difference between successful exercisers and those who quit is that successful exercisers are adaptable. They know things will happen in life to interrupt their schedules and they plan for it.
1. Know Your Schedule.
2. Plan your workout.
3. Be prepared…
Of course, you can't plan for everything. You could catch a nasty cold or have to deal with your kid's illnesses or any number of unexpected interruptions. Sometimes you really can't exercise and, if that's the case, make a promise to start some kind of activity (even if it's just stretching or a little walking) as soon as you can…
Getting back to your routine doesn't necessarily mean jumping right back into the same program you were following before. The biggest mistake many of us make when getting back to exercise is overdoing it...or what I call the Guilt Response. When we get off track, our first response is often to jump back in and do twice as much work to make up for what we missed. But, there are a number of problems with that response:
• Loss of strength and endurance. If you've been off exercise for more than 2-3 weeks, you've lost some of that strength and endurance you once had. As a result, your body won't be capable of doing the same level of training you were doing before.
• Injuries and DOMS. Going full-speed with your workouts from the start means you'll be experiencing plenty of muscle soreness (DOMS) and if you keep trying to workout when you're very sore, you run the risk of injuring yourself.
• Dreading your workouts. If you do too much too soon and you're sore, tired and fatigued, you may start to dread your workouts and that's not the attitude you want when trying to get back on track…”

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