Getting back into working out
My patients often ask how to go about getting back into working out after long breaks in exercise. The simple answer is often the best answer. "Just do it!"
The most difficult part of getting back into working out is simply showing up to the gym. Start by planning a simple half hour into your daily schedule for physical fitness. If all that means is using that time to go on a walk, then please walk. Do not violate that time.
If you are truly committed to getting back into working out and are willing to carve out the time and do it, pick an activity you truly love that you are capable of doing without hurting yourself. If you are a beginner and you check out the gym class schedule and can pick between a class called "Insanity" or one called "strength training level 1", be realistic of your abilities and pick the beginner class. The last thing you need when you are getting back into working out is to hurt yourself or to become so sore you don’t want to go back for a week.
Like me, you might not be a gym person. I used to be a gym person. The pandemic seemed to change me into someone who wants to be outside as much as possible. Because of that, I mountain bike, cross country ski, snow shoe and any other activity that brings me outdoors. I still need to go to the gym to lift or do Pilates but it's refreshing to have so many outdoor options. If you are a home gym type, you can use a Peloton and TRX straps and you have an instant home gym.
The key to working out is consistency. If you can consistently carve time in your schedule to do physical fitness activities that work for you, you will be capable of so much more as you age. I recently had two fit friends call me to teach them to mountain bike. They are 59 and 63!! I was so proud of them. They did great and I still got a workout because they are fit. It’s sad to see people lose their ability to get around with strength and confidence.
When I travel to national parks and the other visitors don't get out of their car, it is sad. There is a whole great big world out there that is only accessible by foot or bike. Seeing those things have been magical moments of my life. If you aren’t able to walk, bike, hike, your world can get very limited.
As we age, you have to fight to keep your fitness. As the old saying goes, "if you don’t use it, you lose it". This is true. You can’t stop moving because once you stop, it’s difficult to start back up and sometimes you aren’t even capable of it.
When you are just getting back into working out, expect your body to be sore. This is a critical time to partner with a chiropractor so that you can manage small injuries before they turn into big injuries. At Active Family Chiropractic, we always want to help. If you have questions on your own fitness plan and want to know what is right for you, book an appointment. If I can’t help you, I will find someone who can.