How can you get back into working out after a long time of no exercise?

If you're one of many who swore to get into shape this year, it's possible and not even that scary. Here are some tips that will help you get back to working out.

lifting weights at the gym  (photo credit: Courtesy)
lifting weights at the gym
(photo credit: Courtesy)

The Tishrei holidays mark new beginnings, and fresh beginnings usually come with new resolutions. During the holidays we get out of routine, and it's a great time to have a conversation with ourselves and explore what we want to change, with an emphasis on improving ourselves and our lives.

Many times, fitness trainers and nutritionists hear promises like, "This is the year I'll take care of myself," when the intention is usually to get in shape or loosen up a stressful lifestyle and introduce healthier food into that person's daily menu.

But for the most part, words and actions are separate and many of those who swear that this year they'll make changes give up before they even get started.

Not this time. If you've promised yourself to get in shape this year, it's possible and not even that scary. Sometimes it's the fear of the first few workouts that holds us back. Here are some tips that will help you return to the gym and persevere.

Start small

Getting in shape doesn't take much time, and you don't have to start with complex and difficult training. 

 Fitness Class (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Fitness Class (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Even if you imagine yourself in an exercise movie scene with a lot of sweat, heavy breathing and hard work like from the Rocky movies, remember that you must realize that after a period without training, the body enters homeostasis, a state in which it's adjusted to the fact that you don't exercise, and it will take time to change it. We don't want your muscles to seize up to the point where you can't move.

What can you do? Start small, and even though the mind really wants to go forward, give the body time to adapt. 

It's best to start in the first two or three weeks with two training sessions per week at a light to moderate intensity, low weights up to two kilograms and fewer repetitions and slowly begin to increase the amount of repetitions and their intensity.

Find a workout that you don't suffer from

When returning to fitness training, or even starting a certain sport, it's very important to find the style that suits you, is relaxing and pleasant to practice and that doesn't make you suffer, even in the very beginning. 

That way, as time goes by, the workouts you don't suffer from will become ones you'll love, and might even get addicted to. It can be a certain class that turns you on the workout, whether it be a ball game or a light jog at sunset. 

At this point, you can create a workout routine and enjoy something that you won't want to give up.

Choose a motivating coach

Find a fitness center that will make you feel good about yourself and professionals who will accompany you in the best way. No matter which routine you choose, be aware that you're being supervised with a professional eye that looks on from the side and knows how to encourage when it's difficult, yet stop when you're overdoing it. 

Many injuries result from shortcuts, so don't overdo it. Also, it's important that professional trainers encourage you to succeed through positive reinforcement.

Small gifts

We like to pamper ourselves, and above all to praise ourselves that we're successful. Make a deal with yourself. If you reach specific goals, treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. 

It can be a good massage, a fun meal with friends or even regular coffee after training. When you know that a reward is waiting for you, you'll keep going until you get used to working out again. 

Remember that you deserve to enjoy the movement, appreciate your body and above all celebrate the decision you made.

Omer Rosenberg is a fitness trainer and the owner of Next Fitness.