4 Tips to Start or Restart Exercise After Time Away
(For Women Over 50)
Anyone reading this who hasn’t ever had a break in the action probably isn’t really flipping 50! Whether it’s illness, injury, family matters, travel, busy business times… we will all have times when if not completely, we need to step away from part of our exercise. The hard part can be coming back to the gym, whether that gym is in your basement or across town.
I’ve experienced months of rehab after a horse-back-riding incident in my 20s, been flat on my back with a virus, bacteria, or food poisoning for a week or more in my 30s and 50s, and recently dealing with a certain virus, and so it’s not only clients I’ve helped restart but my own experience I can draw on.
It can feel difficult either physically, emotionally, or both. Here are a few tips to help you restart exercise again.
Consider It Necessary.
I mean the break you had. (Although, yes, movement is necessary, that’s not where I’m going here). Like mandatory vacations. Without knowing it, you may have needed it. Sometimes the best thing you could do is step away from an organized workout routine to tend to something else. We only have so many resources and you may have needed yours elsewhere. And the best thing when you’re ready is to come back, and here you are doing that.
Often during times when you have to step away, continuing to exercise in the way you were would have been too much. Figure that the universe had your back and it all worked out. Now you’re ready for more. I ended last year with a C-Christmas. (code for a specific illness we’re all too familiar with). I was not really exercising for about 2 weeks. It was not the strong start to a New Year I had imagined.
I tried to make the most of it by catching up on books, naps, and planning the year with more mindfulness. Starting back, I felt refreshed in ways I hadn’t before I was sick.
Set Your Expectations.
Where you left off isn’t where you want to start. Let yourself start at a place it feels easy, as if you could do more at first. You’ll progress faster than you did initially. Muscle memory is real. Just keep reminding yourself, you have time. Lay that strong foundation back down again. Our joints and ligaments still need a little time to adapt again.
Don’t compare yourself now to you then. Instead of looking at how much you’ve lost, focus on how quickly you gain back your strength or energy. You’ll get there, or better, again.
One of my clients recently started hopped off our first call thinking I hadn’t given her enough. On the second call, she said, I really appreciate that you gave me just enough and I was able to do it. Starting back slowly and smart may give you too an opportunity to realize how good we’re meant to feel.
Promises of quick weight loss are everywhere. Don’t choose a punishing workout. Find an activity you need but in a way that you enjoy it. Is it a community, an instructor, at home or gym that makes you most comfortable, inspired and able to fit it in?
Choose an event, race, or activity that’s going to inspire you. My sister wasn’t inspired to exercise regularly for decades. Until ballroom dance. That alone was regular movement. But then she was inspired to do more because it made the thing that she was most joyful about more fun and enjoyable.
Recruit a friend or sister.
Exercise together is more fun. It doesn’t even have to be the exact same program (and shouldn’t if your status and goals aren’t closely matched) – or in the same place – but reporting progress regularly works! It’s the check in. We have 7 unique (and always on the way to more) 12-week programs in our Flipping 50 membership, and all our members are reporting their progress weekly. Everyone is on the same week (within a couple workouts). They’re at the same spot in the journey to a goal. What matters, that you each did your pre—determined goal.
It is that checking in, the accountability to someone beyond yourself that helps. The first time I did a marathon, I did it as a fundraiser for the Leukemia Society. Sending out those letters to dozens of friends, family, and acquaintances saying “I’m going to run 26.2 miles” was a part of the journey to successful completion. When the mileage crept up and got daunting, you eliminate that little voice that says, “I don’t really need to do this,” because it’s become bigger than you. If you’re a private person more inclined to do it on your own than to tell others, me too, so trust me that it can feel like what was missing even to us introverts.
Recruit support in the exact way you want it. If you don’t like the way someone is trying to support you, tell them what you do want! Maybe you ask that instead of, “Did you do your workout today?” they ask “How are you doing on your exercise goal this week? Any way I can help?” Or maybe what you want is them to remind you they’re okay with the alarm going of early or dinners 30 minutes later (and they’ll make it!) so you can get the workout in.
Want to learn how to start or restart and feel good doing it?
Sign up for the free 5 Day Flip and you’ll learn:
- How to lay out a week’s worth of exercise so every day compliments the next
- What a complete at-home strength training session looks like
- How sessions that are short can still be energy boosting and hormone-supporting
- What influence exercise and hormones have on each other
- How to schedule recovery days (and include core that day so it feels “productive”)
- How your hormones “win” when you exercise with the right balance of intensity and recovery
Get STARTED TODAY
Flipping 50’s 5 Day Flip
This free mini challenge includes 5 exercise videos, 5 short audio recordings about the impact of your hormones and exercise, and a short reminder email daily when the video drops for you, all in a convenient member’s area. From the founder of the 1st & only online membership exclusively made for menopause.
More than 20 pounds to lose?
Losing weight after 50 (and menopause) is different than losing weight in your 30s.
Losing 20 or more pounds is different than losing 5. I gathered all the science on it, and share the what and why here. You can watch it right away by clicking/tapping. There is a program option for you too.
But, I highly suggest you watch this first before applying. No matter what you choose to do next, you’ll walk about with more answers and clarity about weight loss now.
Other posts & Flipping50 podcast episodes you may like:
What happens to your body during a workout?
What happens during just ONE workout?