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Falling Off The Exercise Wagon: Tips For Getting Back On

So you'd been working out regularly for six months and then took that wonderful vacation in Barcelona for two and a half weeks. When you got home you were too jet-lagged to go to the gym, work had piled up at the office and there was all that laundry to do.

Suddenly it's been two months since you've even looked at a weight. After two months off it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to help you get going:

  • Make a personal commitment to workout 4 days a week for one month. This will establish the exercise habit.
  • Get a workout partner. You will not only be committed to yourself, but to another person as well. When you don't feel like exercising your partner will.
  • Put it on your calender. This makes your workout time as important as any other commitments you may have.
  • Schedule during quiet hours. You don't want your workouts to be pushed aside by other demands on your time.
  • Create a regular workout time. If your workout times are all over the map, it will be harder to adhere to a fitness program.
  • Think of your exercise time as stress relief time. When you think of it in this way, it will be easy to regain the habit even after a long break.
  • Start out small. Trying to run ten miles or lift 40lb weights during your first workout is not a good way to build a habit. You could become depressed over the loss of strength from your "leave of absence" or hurt yourself!
  • Focus on the enjoyable parts of the workout.  Do you like the eliptical trainer more than the treadmill? Prefer weights over tubing? Yoga class over solo stretching?

Do you have any stories to share or tips to offer on restarting your exercise routine after a long break?