Restarting a Stalled-Out Routine

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It’s okay to take a break, but you gotta come back at some point.

Life is rarely so accommodating as to allow us to do whatever we want precisely when we want. Case in point, this past Saturday, I really wanted to work out, but I couldn’t because all of my towels were in the wash, and knowing my crummy dryer, they’d be in there for the entire rest of the day. I had no choice but to put my workout off until the next day. Sometimes, little speed bumps like that start accumulating: you have a doctor’s appointment, you have work, you have a meet-up, you have chores, and before you know it, you haven’t worked out in a week. Obviously, your life should always take precedence, but when those little things pile up like that, it can make it harder to get back into your routine. When the time finally comes to work out again, remember a few things to make the process smoother.

Firstly, as I just said, life takes precedence, so don’t guilt yourself for not working out for a while. You’re not gonna deflate into a pile of skin and bones after just a few days without exercise. Plans fail, it’s not the end of the world, and if you’re feeling that bad about it, it just means you’re eager to work out again. Embrace the eagerness, ditch the guilt.

Secondly, you might need to start a bit smaller than you’re accustomed to. If you were working out at a really high level before, your body may need a warmup over a couple of days before it can withstand that kind of pressure again. Remember to listen to your body and work within your limits. Don’t worry, those limits will gradually expand back to where you’re used to.

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Finally, don’t force yourself. It’s one thing if you genuinely enjoyed your routine and want to get back to it because it’s fun, but if you’re finding it notably more difficult to get back into the swing of things, that may be a sign that particular routine isn’t really working for you. Consider tweaking the menu a bit until it’s something you can properly enjoy.