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Getting Back on Track with Exercise

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Updated January 10, 2007

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Ease Into It
Getting back to your routine doesn't necessarily mean jumping right back into the same program you were following before. The biggest mistake many of us make when getting back to exercise is overdoing it...or what I call the Guilt Response. When we get off track, our first response is often to jump back in and do twice as much work to make up for what we missed. But, there are a number of problems with that response:
  • Loss of strength and endurance. If you've been off exercise for more than 2-3 weeks, you've lost some of that strength and endurance you once had. As a result, your body won't be capable of doing the same level of training you were doing before.
  • Injuries and DOMS. Going full-speed with your workouts from the start means you'll be experiencing plenty of muscle soreness (DOMS) and if you keep trying to workout when you're very sore, you run the risk of injuring yourself.
  • Dreading your workouts. If you do too much too soon and you're sore, tired and fatigued, you may start to dread your workouts and that's not the attitude you want when trying to get back on track.
Acknowledge that it's been awhile since you've worked out and that your body has changed...you'll need time to build back the strength and endurance you've lost and that means easing into your workouts.
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