If it’s been a while since you had a regular fitness routine, join the club. Lots of us have taken a break from the gym that ended up being much longer than we planned and that can make the goal of getting back in shape feel nearly impossible, but it turns out, it’s all about baby steps. Fitness expert Jay Cardiello knows it can be intimidating to start working out again after taking time off and he knows exactly how to help us get back into the healthy habit with ease. His advice is to progress slowly to avoid getting hurt or losing motivation.
- Start with flexibility workouts - Spend a few days increasing blood flow and circulation while working on range of motion and joint mobility with flexibility workouts. This way your body can adjust to the new demands you’re putting on it. Try stretching or a yoga flow class or video for flexibility.
- Add easy cardio - After a few stretching classes, Cardiello suggests adding in some light cardio workouts, like a brisk 20-minute walk to get the mind and body moving again. Get outside if you can or use a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike as indoor alternatives.
- Start strength training - Add these in after the first week of flexibility and cardio. Work on exercises that improve posture and develop core strength, like squats, lunges, bridges, and stability ball mobility. All of these will help work muscles in your gluteus and hamstring areas and can help you transition back into your fitness routine so you can get stronger and stick with it.