Top five tips for re-commencing exercise after a break

Tamara MatulickPPP

Young woman, mother exercising at home in living room, father playing with kids in background

  1. Start off slowly

    To avoid injuries, easing back in is key. The mind may be itching to go but our bodies need time to adapt to new load and build capacity. The last thing we want is an injury that sets us back even further.   

  2. Allow rest time

    When we stress our body we need to include rest time for our tissues to strengthen and adapt. Have a mixture of lighter and heavier days of activity. The balance will depend on your body, the activity you are undertaking and your goals.  

  3. Watch out for niggles/injuries

    If we return to something we haven’t done in a number of weeks or months we can expect to be sore. Some soreness is normal however if the soreness persist for more than 24-48 hours and/or is stopping you from doing what you want to do then if needs more attention. Get an assessment and a plan from a health professional.  

  4. Be patient

    If you have had a break from your regular activity it can be frustrating to not but able to do as much as you used to. Be patient and don’t expect to be back to your previous performance level straight away, it takes time for the body to build back up again.

  5. Variety is the spice of life

    Do a mixture of activities. Our bodies respond best to a variety of activities. Our risk of injury is lower when we vary what we are doing. This could mean doing stretching, lifting weights, balance exercises, running or walking. It also means having variety within each activity, for example varying speeds and distances for walking or running.