We’re all guilty of it: being super diligent about exercising regularly only to fall off for no apparent reason. It’s totally normal and you definitely shouldn’t let a few missed cardio sessions be the reason you quit working out altogether. Instead, as soon as you feel motivated to resume your regular sweat sessions, go for it! Just be sure to follow these expert tips from fitness influencer and creator of The Fit Body Guides, Anna Victoria, if it’s been a while since you last exercised:
1. Focus on your entire body. “Begin with a full body workout through the first week. You don’t want to isolate a muscle group and work on it alone if your body isn’t used to workout out yet. It will result in severe soreness and could possibly call for a few days of rest. Instead, do a full body strength workout focusing both on your lower body and your upper body, three times a week. The next week you can begin with split workouts to focus on individual muscle groups,” Victoria says.
2. Take it easy. “Don’t go too hard, too soon. If your body isn’t used to working out, you are at a higher risk for injury. Trying to go too hard in your workouts from the get-go can either cause injury or cause you to burn out. Give your body time to adjust to the workouts before you push your body too much, too early.”
3. Be mindful of your diet. “You should increase your caloric intake. When you start working out, your body actually needs even more calories in order to repair the muscle you are breaking down and to fuel your body properly. Under-eating is one of the main reasons people don’t see results so be sure you are eating enough to reflect your age, height, weight, and activity level. What you eat will determine your results more than anything.”
4. Try new exercises. “Our bodies adapt to movements and weight loads, so in order to challenge your body you must do something different, something it doesn’t expect. This can be in the form of a new exercise, increased weight, increased reps, or even the same exercises but in a different order. This will keep your body guessing which is what will help you get results.”
5. Be realistic. “Don’t expect results overnight. Getting results takes time and focusing on that time sometimes leads us down the path to giving up more than if we just keep going, regardless of the time it takes. The time will pass anyways and every person’s body responds in different time frames so just focus on doing better than you did yesterday and before you know it you will have made amazing progress! Slow and steady wins the race.”
6. Track your progress. “Take before photos and progress photos every month. This is one of the most important things to do because you will have progress that you don’t notice from day to day and even after a month you may not notice it until you put the photos side by side. These photos should serve as your measure of progress, NOT a scale. Or even better, get a body fat percentage taken so when you gain muscle, you will know that you are still actually losing body fat even if the number of the scale isn’t budging. (Really, throw the scale away.)”
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