I’ve noticed that parking at my gym in the mornings has become a bit more of challenge the last couple weeks. The weather is cooling off, school has started, and people are finding their way back to the gym. Indoor exercise always seems to pick up in the fall.
Where do I begin when I head back to the gym?
If you have been active this summer, this becomes a much easier question to answer. You can probably jump back into any routine you have used previously and see success/progress. Modifying weight and some of the exercises may be necessary to start, but you’ll be back to feeling comfortable and confident in no time.
If you haven’t been as active this summer, for whatever reason, getting back to the gym can be a much more daunting task. Scheduling time can be a limiting factor and soreness is inevitable.
Regardless of which group you are in, the following are key to your success back at the gym:
- Set reasonable, SMART Goals. These goals will help motivate you. SMART Goals are:
- Time Bound
- Resistance training is important but remember to start off easy. Jumping back into an old routine at the levels that you were at before can cause excessive soreness or injury.
- Cardio in the gym or an indoor setting is different than some of the cardio that you’ve been doing outside. Gym equipment is less modifiable for individual stride lengths and foot placements. Make sure you are setting the gym equipment to the right settings for your height and weight.
- Flexibility is the key to success. Mobility exercises are very important as you get back into your gym routine. They help with eliminating soreness but also help protect us from injury and can also be a very good active warmup or cool down.
- Variety is important. Variety is important for several reasons as you get back into exercise. From preventing overuse injury to keeping us interested and motivated, variety is key.
Our individualized exercise plans evolve throughout the year. As your program changes this fall, make sure it changes in a smart, fun and appropriate way. Remember that there is no perfect exercise, exercise machine, or workout plan that works for everyone. There is though, a great plan out there that’s perfect for you. Good luck in finding that perfect plan!