Whether you took time off for an injury, because of some event in your life, or simply because you fell off the wagon, going back to the gym after a long break can be really difficult both physically and mentally. It can be discouraging to find yourself in worse shape than you used to be, and your body might struggle with exercises that you don’t expect to. So how can you make getting back into the gym after a break a bit easier?
First, do yourself a favor and be your own best friend. When it comes to your self-talk, be compassionate and gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up for getting out of shape is never going to help, and will only discourage you in the long run.
Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that it will take time to get back to where you used to be. However, it might not take as long as you worry it might. Generally speaking, once you’ve already gotten into shape once, it won’t be as hard the second time around.
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to rest, as the soreness that comes when you haven’t worked out in a while is some of the worst muscle soreness you can experience. To begin with, try to only hit each muscle group no more than once a week.
And celebrate your little victories. Even if it’s something you could do before, it’s no less exciting to reach a new milestone in your fitness journey.