For the first time in a while, this summer has been a bit more normal, and a truly well-deserved party! If you have attended multiple weddings, eaten a 4-course breakfast every morning on your vacay and completed 0 workouts due to the heat, then you are certainly not alone!
Summer is one of the hardest times of the year to stay consistent with an exercise routine and if you’ve got the dreaded gym fear or simply don’t know where to start again, Chelsea Labadini, Personal Trainer and Founder of Chelsea Labadini’s Online Coaching, shares her top tips for getting back into exercise post-summer.
1. Stop procrastinating!
This one sounds obvious but it’s honestly as simple as scheduling it and doing it! Stop waiting for Monday, stop waiting for the kids to get back to school, stop giving yourself a get-out pass and just get there! A little exercise is much better than no exercise at all, and the truth is we can’t rely on motivation alone!
It’s an absolute privilege to have the option to exercise and move your body, so don’t waste it! You just need to think about how much better you will feel for it afterwards! Keeping your fitness regime up is all about your mindset and taking some accountability.
If that still doesn’t work, use exercise as a chance to meet up with a friend or book classes in advance, this way you are much more likely to show up.
2. Pace yourself!
When you finally do make it to the gym, now it’s time to be clever, listen to your body and don’t get over-excited. If you haven’t been exercising for a while, you will have undoubtedly lost some strength and stamina.
If you are training with weights, start your first working set of each exercise with a comfortable weight and then increase the weight if you feel like you can keep good form. Start with 3 x full body sessions a week or if you are more advanced and have the time then try for 4 sessions.
Just make sure you have enough time for those muscles to recover in between! Rest is important.
3. Get back to basics!
Before you start throwing yourself around your living room doing a HIIT workout, have a month of getting back to the basics.
I would always advise strength training before HIIT training no matter what the goal is. Strength training improves our everyday functional movement and makes our bodies nice and strong. If you aren’t strengthening those muscles through strength training, you’re more likely to get an injury through your cardio and HIIT training and this will set you back further.
Leave your ego at the door and get back to basics with compound exercises like squats, press-ups, lunges, deadlifts and rows. These exercises work multiple muscle groups at a time and give you good bang for your buck!
4. Prepare for the DOMS!
DOMS= Delayed onset muscle soreness.
If you haven’t trained in a while it’s probably going to be a shock to those muscles and you may experience DOMS. DOMS symptoms usually happen around 12-24 hours post-workout. Your muscles might feel stiff, sore and tender and this is caused by micro tears in the muscle fibres.
My top tip for DOMS is to keep moving and avoid long periods on the couch as this can make it feel worse. I would always advise taking a couple of days off from the gym, but continuing to walk, stretch, and roll your muscles out with a foam roller.
5. Fuel yourself!
I always suggest eating carbs and protein within your training window. Preferably protein post workout and carbs pre-workout however if you like to train in the morning and can’t eat at that time then get those carbs in post-workout.
Carbs are going to give you the energy to exercise. My favourite pre-workout snack has to be overnight oats or porridge. Throw in some berries and a little bit of peanut butter and you will unstoppable!
After your workout, make sure to up your protein intake. Protein is essential for your muscles to rebuild and repair. Protein bars are a great on-the-go snack but make sure you choose one with at least 20g of protein as marketing can be very deceiving.
To summarise, do something that you enjoy and find something that you can stay consistent with! Stick with the same programme/ schedule for a month and increase the weights/reps/intensity each week and feel the benefits of moving your body and getting stronger! We are made to move and are very lucky to do so! You will be back in your fitness regime in no time.