Getting Back in the Game: 5 Tips For Going From Sedentary To Active

Many factors can cause people to become sedentary without realizing it. Working on long projects, caring for a newborn or dealing with family emergencies can take you away from your normal exercise regime for weeks or months at a time. Getting back into shape may seem like an insurmountable problem, but a careful plan and steady discipline can get you back into top condition.

Start Walking

As you start to consider what type of exercise program best suits your needs and what parts of your body needs the most work, begin a walking program to get primed for being more active. Walk the dog a little further, stroll during your lunch hour and take a daily constitutional after dinner. Walking is one of the best and simplest exercises to get your legs stronger, your cardiovascular system functioning better and your mental attitude prepared for greater physical activity.

Exercise With A Friend

If you are concerned about staying motivated, enlist the help and companionship of a friend who is also interested in working out. He or she will be able to prod you into going to the gym or to a class when you don’t feel like going. It’s also more enjoyable to have someone to share your goals and concerns who understands the challenges of resuming an exercise program.

Start Slow

You may have had a very active life before your period of sedentary living. Remember that you will not be able to simply pick up where you left off. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments have become less flexible. Your cardiovascular system may have become less efficient. Choose a few very basic exercises that work your entire body and concentrate on these to allow your body to get back into condition. You can then add activities as you feel comfortable with them.

Increase Activity Gradually

Exercise feels good, and you will be tempted to take on new activities at a fast rate. However, it’s important to avoid injuries that will sidetrack your new exercise regime. When adding new activities do them for a short time to get your muscles accustomed to the new activity. Never do activities to the point of pain. Allowing an injury to occur will only set you back. Know your limits and build up to activities that take you to a higher level of fitness.

Take Care of Minor Muscle Strains Early

If an injury occurs, take a break from exercise and use the R.I.C.E method of “rest, icing, compression and elevation” to treat the injury. Utilize the kinds of tools that can help support your joints and muscles as you take on more activity. For instance, the best kinesio tape use is to support muscles after a minor injury. Tape and other compression accessories can help if you use them correctly early on.

The key to getting back to your old active self is to not be too overeager. Rushing into intense workouts will only hurt you and halt the motivation you feel. Use your motivation to do your homework and do it all the right way.