First, start slowly. Don’t try to log five miles after taking a three-month break from running. The American Council on Exercise suggests walking for 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a week. (This is especially good advice for exercise newbies, too.)
Make exercise a priority again. Schedule it into your week like an appointment — one that you can’t cancel. You’ll soon redevelop this healthy-lifestyle habit.
A tip from the American Heart Association is to set yourself up for success by finding an exercise buddy who won’t let you skip your workouts. You can encourage each other and even celebrate fitness victories together.
Also, figure out why you slacked off in the first place. If going to the gym became just another chore, find an activity you enjoy more — that way you’ll be more likely to stick with it. You might be more motivated by outdoor exercise or by using home equipment, which doesn’t require travel time to a fitness center.
Of course, if a sports injury or a serious health issue sidelined you, ask your doctor for guidelines before restarting exercise after you complete any needed rehab.
Remember, getting back into shape will take time. But taking that first step is the only way to start.
News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.