I have never been the fanatic sports-girl. Throughout my childhood I have always done something of sports, I have done tennis, soccer, jazz dance and gymnastics, not all at the same time of course, and it always lasted for a year or so, then I got tired of it and wanted to try something new.
Since I graduated, I have been moving around between different countries every 2 or 3 years. Every time I arrived somewhere new, I had to do all the paperwork, find a new doctor, a dentist and other specialists. When my children were born, we had to find new schools etc. I was so happy when we had everything organized, that I did not take the time to find an activity or club to join. And usually when we sort of got into a Routine where I could take the time, we were muted to another place for work.
Besides that, my husband and I have always worked long hours and when we came home, we wanted to enjoy our family. This used to be enough for us.
Until 4 years ago. We arrived again in another country, had found schools for the kids and all the above that had to be done. The first months, we had to succeed in our new professional challenge (we worked together for the same company), but after a while a started feeling that something was missing.
There was a big gym at the place I worked, so I started working out in the gym. In the beginning I could not run for more then 1 minute, and lift any weights 5 times in a row, but very quickly I started to feel and see improvement.
After a couple of weeks, I was able to run 5 kilometers in 30 minutes, which I was very proud of ????
But it was not just that, I felt better, more confident and stronger. It did not only change me physically, but also mentally I got much stronger. When I did not feel good, I went running and afterwards I instantly felt much better.
For months I ran 3 or 4 times per week, often in the morning before my family woke up, which sometimes required some discipline, but I always felt so good afterwards that I just kept that in the back of my mind.
And then, for no particular reason, it stops. Actually, there is often a reason. I remember one time catching the flu, and just being incapable of getting out of bed, let alone go running.
But by the time I got better, I just was not in this flow anymore. I do not really remember why I could not get it back. That took a while, and slowly I picked it up again.
Unfortunately, I have ever managed to get so motivated again as I was before. Probably due to a number of reasons, stress at work, social activities, children, lack of energy…..who knows?
Anyway, I am determined to get back at it and this time it is for real! Especially since I noticed some extra weight on my hips and belly lately. For sure, after a certain age, it simply is not possible anymore to eat whatever and whenever. I need to get back in control!
Does this sound familiar to you? If you recognize yourself in this story, and you want to start running again after a long break, but you are not sure how to do it, then you might benefit from my gettingbackatit-tips. So here’s my plan:
We should start exercising by just walking first. I know that if you start running immediately, you will just be so disappointed if you cannot hold on long enough. The worst thing would be to get demotivated after the first new try.
Also, after a long period of doing (almost) nothing, it would not be good for your joints, muscles and tendons to overdo it. Your Body hast to get used to being active again, so give yourself the time for that.
2. Building up
Whenever you feel after a couple of kilometers that you can do much better then that, hold your horses! Too much too fast is not good for our bodies. Let’s build it up smoothly and also fit in some walking periods. I think it would be good to add 10% distance every week. Even when it might be easy to go from 5 km to 10 km, we should take it easy and avoid injuries.
3. Warming up and cooling down
This is of course always important, not only when you start again after a break. You prepare your muscles for what is coming when you do a warming up. One of the most important reasons for a warming up is to avoid injuries. The same goes for cooling down. Be consistent and do this every time.
4. Take care of your body
After running, it feels great to do some stretching and to take a warm shower. When running in the morning, which is what I prefer, nothing gives a better boost to start the day.
It is not only that though, a healthy lifestyle is just as important. Like I said, lately I have gained some weight, by not doing any sports, but especially by not eating healthy enough. This is one of my goals as well; back to a healthy, varied diet, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep.
5. Be kind to yourself
We tend to be very strict with ourselves. Especially when we have not been very active lately, when we ate the wrong things, when we get to stressed over work, we might feel guilty. I know for myself that I do. But despite that, it would be of no use to, all of a sudden, work our buts of in the gym. This will only increase the risk of injuries of different sorts.
Let’s not forget: we do not only do this to be healthy and in shape, we also do this because we like it! And it has to stay like that. If you cannot make it one day, then there’s always the next day. Don’t be too hard on yourself and enjoy it!
I would love to hear about your experience if you have been in the same situation. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the subject. Thanks!
Let’s do this!