Whether you've been out of the gym for a few days, a week, or perhaps months, our tips provide easy ways to make the transition back a little easier.
1. After work or school, go directly to the gym
Skip the step where you go home to get changed. Going home can sidetrack you from actually making it to the gym. If you go straight from the office to the gym, you're more likely to keep it as a ritual.
2. Test out gyms
Find a gym that you love. People fail at this step because they feel guilty or uncomfortable walking out when the gym doesn't feel like a good fit. Don't fall into this trap. You want to love the gym you go to, so you'll want to go to the gym more often.
3. Start small
If you're a former athlete, you may be competitive. If you're starting to go back to the gym after an extended break, starting small with lower reps or lower weight might be a new concept. The important thing is to build a good technique and stay safe and by starting small so you can do this. Rest assured you'll gradually improve, but by not comparing to those around you in the gym you'll do it in a safer way at the pace your body needs.
4. Don't be intimidated
So you've been away for a while, don't sweat it! Every gym is full of people at different skill levels and strengths and weaknesses. You have to start somewhere and walking through the door is really the hardest part. Remember the reason why you first decided to go back – you're there for yourself, not to impress everyone else in the building.
5. Age is only a number
Whether you've been out of practice since graduation, a year ago or maybe 10 years, it doesn't matter. Any exercise, workout or game can be adapted to your skill level. Age is one thing that shouldn't keep you away.
6. Pick a frequency that makes you feel good
Kind of like No. 3 Start small, do your activity at a frequency that you enjoy. Don't put the burden on yourself to go every day if it stresses you out or it doesn't fit your current schedule. Picking up the good habit of going to the gym should fit a balance where you look forward to it and it naturally fits into your activity schedule. If you dread going, you may also want to evaluate if it's the activity is what you're not enjoying.
7. Do the things you love
Often people think the only way to get back into a gym is to hit a treadmill or spin bike. Do the activities you love already, then you'll be more likely to keep going and getting that exercise in on a regular basis. Things like walking, kayaking, hiking, or playing volleyball.