5 Things to Consider Before Starting a New Workout Routine
posted on August 27, 2018 | by Sanhita Mukherjee
You’re sticking to your workout plan, you’re seeing results, you’re feeling quite proud of yourself – and then, bam! Along comes a slump and messes up all those months of hard work. If you’re going through a slump right now, a new workout routine is a great way to get yourself out of it (or avoid one in the first place).
As a long-time runner trying to get out of a rut, I recently decided to switch things up a little. Here are a few things I found useful as I started my new routine – and a few things that I did not consider, but definitely should have!
Assess yourself realistically
You may have been able to run a marathon back in college, but a lot may have changed since then. If you are in your late 20s, you’ll already feel the difference from when you were just 23 or so – let alone when you were back in college.
Assess yourself based on the body and lifestyle you have now. If you spend long hours at your desk, you may notice that your stamina is not what it used to be as you’re starting out. Plan for that and start off slow, building up the intensity as you go.
Get an expert to show you the ropes
Doing some light weights or yoga at home can be a budget-friendly slump buster – but it also means that there’s no one to point out if you’re doing something wrong.
Even a simple push-up can strain the wrong muscles if done incorrectly, and lead to serious injuries. Sign up for some trial classes or introductory sessions at the gym and get a qualified professional to show you the right postures and techniques before you try them at home.
When I first tried out HIIT sessions, I was pretty excited (it was quick, efficient, and it did not even require me to step out of the house – what’s not to like?). I jumped right in – and almost blacked out in the middle of my first session. Only later did I realize that I was attempting an advanced routine on my very first day (d-uh!).
Punishing routines are not necessarily always the best. Knowing when to stop will get you more rewarding results in the long run. And you’ll be less likely to quit after a few weeks because you’re not enjoying it anymore.
Anybody else feel like tucking into some cake, right after working out? I did, and I thought I deserved it, too. The next day, I realized why I should have done things differently.
Too much sugar and not enough protein just prolongs the muscle soreness you feel when you work out a new part of your body. Protein helps your body repair and rebuild muscle tissues. If you are starting some high intensity, fat burning exercises, you might also want to look at taking protein supplements (another thing to discuss with the expert you talk to).
Wait for results
As with anything else, your body needs to get used to the new routine and it takes a while for the pain to stop and for the results to start showing. Avoid extending your workouts by an extra hour, or fitting in an extra session on your rest day – just to see faster results. Not only will this not speed things up, it may actually lead to injuries, thereby forcing you to take a break from working out altogether.
How do you get out of a workout slump? What’s something you consider before starting a new routine?