Well, what are the returns like? Difficult? Nice? Motivating? It depends on the type of the fitness break, what was it caused by and how long it lasted. Well, all in all it also has an impact on our training system practised before the break… But the most important thing is how we approach the whole thing!
How did it look like for me?
Once upon a time I was a self-proclaimed ‘gym-goer’, in the full sense of the word. I could not imagine my weekly routines without training. I will mark it clearly – no, I’m not crazy about changing my figure, the number of calories and excess fat on my body. I just – I loved practicing! I loved ‘the feeling after’ training, when endorphins stoke blood like crazy! That’s why I could practice every other day, even several times a day if I had the strength! Overtime, I nicely improved my fitness level.
Unfortunately, the stamina has fallen due to a change of lifestyle, which affected my workouts to a minimum, and then eventually ended up it being my last priority. For me, that break lasted for about two years, until recently. I can imagine your face when you read that. The first days ‘on vacation’ were a veritable torment. I totally did not know what to do with myself, because I was not used to that. Previously, every time I was leaving college I thought to myself “Yeaah! When I get back home I have a whole evening for the gym!”. I always waited for it like a total fool! So, when it came to the fact that the routine was not there, my life changed and I became super disorganised.
I was very worried that my developed fitness condition will fall head over heels. Well, unfortunately, it is a natural process when limiting workouts. I came to terms with it in the end, however, all the time wondering how my condition will decline.
Stamina is stamina, but my health and well-being is another matter. That also changed its character and I felt it clearly in my overall-life performance.
Can you believe that I had a serious problem with walking up the stairs in the library? Shortness of breath caught me a few steps up. It was strongly demotivating and it scared me, if I ever return to my old form.
When my motivation and time management improved a little and I gave myself the signal “you can practice, but for pleasure, not for results” – read – light and pleasant, I did not really know where to start and how to begin.
I’ve put it clear – “Karolina, you have not practised for over a year – do not expect too much of yourself to start with. Once upon a time you were starting from scratch and you developed quite a decent form, so it will be the same now.”
So where have I started?
From pedalling with a light pace. From light exercise with the use of the weight of my own body. From walks. Generally, every movement is good.
It is important not to cross the line at the start. Why? Because when we jump the gun we will not only hurt ourselves, but also feel down about the state of our form. There is no need to lie to yourself when you return. It will probably be in a different state than before.
Start lightly and slowly – don’t force anything! It is important to be able to feel out our boundaries – in terms of health, strength and how much we can currently afford. Balance is key – as in all the rest. It is important to always remember, and do everything with logic. Surely you can not overwork yourself. Returning to the right track, keep in mind the principle that slowly developed habits and the results are with us for longer. Faster and stronger, in this case does not mean better. I know everyone wants a quick return to form, but it is not the solution. The body must once again get used to the effort. Slowly and gradually, all will be fine!
How is it now?
Now I use a method referred to as ‘to feel’, that is, depending on how I feel, I choose the appropriate physical activity. I do not overload myself. I have to take into account that my work consumes a lot of my energy e.g. commuting and other ‘crap’ of daily life.
I workout an average of three times a week, two of which are a strength-focused workouts (with the use of my own body’s weight), and one decent full on cardio. In addition, I try to make the optimal amount of exercise each day, that is – instead of a ride, I try to use my own power – legs (only not in the morning when I need that extra 10 minutes of sleep!). I like to walk around admiring the city, and as I wrote earlier – every activity is good! I plan to slowly introduce strength training with weights, that is go back to the regularity of the gym. And you know what? I dream of a return to dance classes – yes, yes, Kala once danced for a few months and loved dancing very much. Who knows, I might go back to that!
You might wonder how I am feeling training? It’s hard – I won’t hide it. For each workout I seriously try to fight through to the last second, because my character is rarely able to let go. I lost a lot of capacity to very quickly get tired and the muscles are not as strong as they were. It’s hard, but… each one of us started from scratch, right? Now I may not be starting from total zero, because the memory of the body remained, but I need some time to bring my body to order. I have good and bad days – like all of us. Sometimes I come home after a long day of work full of energy, and sometimes just the opposite – I walk like a ghost and I do not have strength to even change into my workout clothes. This unfortunately depends on the sleep, stress at work and how much of food I eat, which can all be tricky to control.
What is most important in all of this?
That I did not give up.
I am a person that starts their usual – unusual day at around 7 am, often working late at the office, who returns home every day around 7 pm and has an average of an hour completely to myself. So, to lie on my back and laze. I could have broken-up with exercise a long time ago, but this relationship is too important for me to just to let it go ;). Why? Because I love it. As hard as it is, I always think that it is worth fighting for better me… Anyone can do it, really.
And that I also wish for you! All enthusiasts, fit-freaks, including beginners and advanced and those who are just starting to think about bettering yourself in this way – fight for yourself! And, take care!
Until next time!