Six ways to get your exercise groove back

Monday July 26 2021
health04pix

Take a few breaks during your routines. PHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK

By Joan Salmon

It was already hard enough to keep up with exercising even with the gyms open and all the cheerleading you could get from working out as a group. The lockdown has made it even more difficult because everyone is in their own space and for others, the responsibilities have greatly increased thus many have fallen off the trail. However, exercising is very important and here are six things you can do just in case you fell back a bit on your routine.
Set realistic goals
You have fallen back and one of the best ways to come back is by setting small and achievable goals. Elijah Muhwezi, a fitness trainer says it will be great to write them down so that you can check them off as you achieve them.
“For example, you may decide to walk for 30 minutes every day for a week and gradually increase the intensity with each passing time as well as the duration. It will also help if one set out the days of working out way in time so you are prepared and ensure you adhere. That said it is important to be realistic with your timing to ensure it suits your schedule rather than doing what others are doing,” he advises.
Be your accountability partner
It is very encouraging to have someone holding your hand, reminding you to exercise or checking on how you are faring.
However,  Muhwezi says save for calling you up, encouragement from your gym buddies might not be that regular.
“It therefore calls for you to hold yourself accountable to follow through with your targets. However, you can create a WhatsApp group with like-minded friends where you hold one another accountable and keep going,” he shares. Alternatively, you can turn to exercising apps as these not only give you exercising guidance but also provides motivation from the online community.
Gradually ease into exercising
Regardless of your fitness levels before lockdown, being off for quite a period of time makes the body get out of routine. It therefore necessitates that one gets back into it in a gradual manner to allow the body get in line.
“It will be a rude shock to the body to start at the same intensity as previously because the muscles have also lost the former elasticity and need to be trained into it,” Irene Mujasi, a fitness enthusiast shares.
For example, if it has been a month since you last exercised, starting at half or quarter the former intensity, even for the time is advisable. “You can increase these with time to avoid any form of injury arising from straining the body. It is important to listen to your body so that you do not break, even before you start,” she advises.
Take it in bits
Exercising does not mean that you must grind your body for an entire hour because it can get frustrating if you feel like stopping, say 20 minutes into the workout. As you ease back into exercising, Mujasi says you could start with taking five minute breaks in between your working hours so that you do not sit for long, well aware of the negative implication of sitting for long hours.
“These five or 10 minutes of exercises will add up and are better than nothing. Moreover breaking up the exercise time can also be looked at as taking a fitness snack, that way, your mind will not be overwhelmed hence fail to return to working out,” she says.
Embrace the outdoors
It could be taking a walk, jogging or even doing your pilates from the outdoors; whatever it is, the outdoors makes life more beautiful.
That is why Muhwezi says you need to move your workout outdoors, if possible.
“Working out as you watch the birds, listen to various sounds and enjoy the scenery can turn a would-be boring exercise time into something to look forward to,” he suggests.
Be your cheerleader
The gyms are closed and transport is limited but that does not mean that you cannot spur yourself on as you work out.
Mujasi says it is time to draw the inspiration from within.
“One of the best ways is to engage in activities that you enjoy engaging in. For example, you can turn dancing into an exercise by being intentional about it, choosing songs that enable you to shake your body to break a sweat. It is also important that there is a timeframe otherwise, it ceases to be a workout and just becomes a pass-time activity,” she shares. “With time, you can incorporate others for a well rounded workout.”

Mujaasi says regardless of your fitness levels before lockdown, being off for quite a period of time makes the body get out of routine. It therefore necessitates that one gets back into it in a gradual manner to allow the body get in line.
“It will be a rude shock to the body to start at the same intensity as previously because the muscles have also lost the former elasticity and need to be trained into it,” she explains.                
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