Updated: Mar 1, 2019
Your are not feeling well, it is cold outside, you just got an injury or you are simply sick with a flu or cold. Whatever the reason, we all have had "pauses" in our fitness journey, and the prodigal return isn't always glamorous, in fact it is quite annoying and at times scary. How to ease back on track in the most effective manner possible?
Take a deep breath?: Don't mentally crucify yourself for falling off the wagon, it happens, that is why it is called a fitness journey and you are not alone. A lot of the time we are hard on ourselves for not meeting our expectation and at times we get embarrassed which in many cases prevents us from returning promptly, consequently increasing the amount of "damage". Your mental state is the first piece of the puzzle to address, the story you tell yourself will affect the tone of your resumption. My story for when I fall off is, "got to get back to it, it sucks but here is how I am going to do better".
Have a plan: This is different then setting your fitness goals, this is more of a business plan. After you acknowledge the reasons why you fell off in the first place, we now plan for solutions so those reasons don't happen again. Make no mistake, chances of other reasons popping up is normal and expected but we must plan for the reasons we are aware of. For example. If one of those reasons is that you are working late hours and too tired to be effective with your fitness, perhaps a solution to this problem could be to adjust your diet to compensate for the lack of exercise on those work days and make it up on the weekends. We can always help with that.
Adjust fitness goals: Just like your "business plan", your fitness goals need adjusting, simply saying "I need to lose weight" is not enough, have to set a number and a time frame. Simply saying I need more muscle is not enough, we need a number and a time frame, the same goes for flexibility balance or anything else, we need metric parameters. Keep in mind that those parameters NEED to be reasonably attainable, aiming to lose 100 lbs in 2 weeks is, CRAZYYYYY!!! and not realistically healthy.
Do not be afraid to scale back the intensity or duration of your workout regimens when resuming your fitness journey, in fact I would advise you do so. It is normal to feel eager and energized to jump back in the fray and pick up where you left off, but it is not the smart way to do it, the situation needs to be reassessed and re-strategized, so you remain safe and motivated!