Been a while? No biggie… Whether you’re ready to get back on it after overcoming injury, a spate of late nights at work or – ideally – endless summer nights of knocking back G&Ts and The Great Italian Pasta Tour of 2017 (Editor’s Note: If this is a thing, LMK) has resulted in a generally more lethargic you, you’re likely a little apprehensive about taking that first step back through the studio door.
Whatever the reason, the good news is that taking a break from your exercise regime sometimes can actually be a boon to your nervous system, especially if you lean toward high intensity workouts, and help to bring stress levels down. Plus, if you had a regular routine before your hiatus and are a generally active (read: walking up escalators, walking to work, running for the bus, basically London life) person, you’re likely to be able to go weeks without losing overall strength, according to a study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Ready to go? Tackle our five-step cheat sheet on how to #moveyourframe again…
FRAME’S ‘GET BACK IN THE GAME’ CHEAT SHEET:
First thing’s first… Hit on why you stopped.
Maybe it’s simple: socialising, wedding season, holidays… Easy. But if your reason is something bigger you might need to troubleshoot that first. For example, if you’ve had a baby and the newfound lack of sleep is keeping you from mustering up the motivation, you might not be able to stick to a routine unless you sort childcare first (we also hold regular MumHood Post-Natal classes at Frame where you’re welcome to bring your bub #justsaying). If you work in an industry prone to late nights (calling all solicitors to the stage!) you might opt to fit it in with one of our 30 or 45 minute lunchtime classes.
Think about how you want to feel.
… Not how you want to look. True, you’re definitely not alone if your initial desire to hit the gym is purely physical. But reframing a superficial goal (“I want to look ripped”) with a feeling (“I want to feel confident”) creates a longterm theme which isn’t only served by sweating it out. The result? You create a lifestyle – a way of thinking about anything around you (“Will procrastinating on this project make me feel more confident at work?”) –
ensuring the concept – your goal – sticks.
When you get back into any routine, we tend to take an all-in approach in a bid to speed up whatever our desired results might be, but this can result in an unbalanced you – both physically and mentally. Be patient – going from zero to five days a week is going to stress you out and make you really damn tired. You’re also almost certainly going to raise your risk of injury. Meet in the middle and start with hitting the studio half as much as you did before you took a break – then work your way up to your ideal from there.
Change your approach.
There’s this thing called boredom and it affects you, consciously or not. Maybe you were doing the same cardio classes everyone else raves about when actually you’d prefer to be elongating your limbs in Reformer Pilates. Don’t think you have to do the same thing ‘everyone else’ is doing. After all and in the words of Frame’s co-founder Joan Murphy, “The best workout is the one you actually do.” On the flip side, even if you know and love a certain type of class there are myriad reasons to start your new routine by introducing a bit of variety. HIIT junkie? Jump into Frame Rave (no, you don’t have to have coordination). Yogi? Mix it up with something which will strengthen the same muscle groups like Ass & Abs.
Enjoy the process.
With a renewed workout routine comes a whole new set of fun milestones to nail. Remember what it felt like the first time you figured out arm balances in yoga or finally started moving in the same direction as the rest of your Dance Cardio class? If you’re feeling like you’re back to square one, know that these triumphs do come – and when they do, take a minute to thank your body for being such a boss.