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Getting Back on Track with Exercise

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Updated January 10, 2007

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Create Your Workout Schedule
When creating a workout schedule, you may not know what your strength and endurance is after your break. It can be frustrating to feel that you're starting all over, but your body will remember how to exercise and your strength/endurance will come back 100% if you give your body some time. Try this approach when hammering out your workout schedule:
  • Schedule your workout days. To do this, you might look at your old workout schedule and create a lighter version. For example, if you used to workout 5 or 6 days a week, set up a schedule for 3-4 days of exercise and just squeeze in the basics - a little cardio, a little strength and a little flexibility.
  • Plan your cardio workouts. Again, look at your old schedule and then set up a routine that's a bit lighter than what you were doing before. If you used to run 5 days a week, you might start with a walk/run program for 3 days. If you used to workout for 45-60 minutes, try for 20-30 your first week or two out. Some workout ideas:
  • Plan your strength workouts. Your strength workouts may be where you experience the most soreness. To avoid that or at least minimize it, plan on a light program. For example, you might choose 8-10 exercises targeting the whole body and perform one set of each exercise. It may feel like you're going backwards to start with a light workout, but it's better to take it easy than to get so sore, you can't workout at all. Some ideas: Some things to consider when first starting out:
    • Schedule more recovery days. You may need a few extra days to recover from your workouts.
    • Schedule gentler workouts. I find that yoga and Pilates are great for easing back into exercise. For ideas, check out these Yoga-Pilates Based Workouts.
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