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GETTING BACK INTO EXERCISE AFTER A BREAK (STEP BY STEP)

Taking a break from exercise is something that happens to everyone during their lives at some point or another. Covid-19 has forced sporting activities to stop however things are starting to normalise. 


We’ve made a step by step guide on how to get back into exercise from start to finish to make things as easy as we possibly could. It’s not an easy thing to do, but getting started is always the first step, and you’re certainly in the right place to do it.


STEP 1 – FIND WHY YOU STOPPED
One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to find out what made you stop exercising the first time. There are a lot of factors that can come into play when thinking about your reasons to stop. Some are inevitable, some not so much. 
Once you have managed to find the reason, you’re ready to move onto the next stage of the process of getting yourself back on track!


STEP 2 – BUILD YOUR MOTIVATION
The next step of your journey back to fitness is building up your motivation to help you find a reason to keep on training. It may even be the same as it was before you took the break, but now with a fresh attitude and some extra guidance, you can give yourself a fighting chance to stick at it and make fitness a healthy and enjoyable part of your life.


REMEMBER MUSCLE MEMORY
Your body has a genius way of keeping you in good condition even after your exercise thanks to the work you already put it. It’s an amazing concept to have at your disposal.
Muscle memory means that even if you haven’t trained in a long time, the extra cells that you did produce when you were training are still there in your body. They’re actually just waiting to be needed again. That gives you much faster progress than you would have seen the first time you were training, no matter if it was for strength training or for cardio.


STEP 3 – PROGRESSIVELY BUILD UP
You won’t walk in exactly where you left off. You can’t just walk into your gym and get back on the bench with the same weight you had when you left. Trying may actually be demotivating if you feel disappointed form the get-go. You’re muscle still needs time to build up, and your form or technique may well be off too, just like when you start something new. Start slowly and work your way back up or you are just asking for an injury to happen which may take you back out of your training quicker than you started it.


STEP 4 – PLAN AHEAD
Finally, one of the most important things for you to consider when you’re getting back into your training is to plan ahead. Getting used to putting time aside for your fitness can be really challenging after a long time off as you often have other things that will be filling up your time. 


KEEP IN MIND

Remember to take things at your own pace, and don’t expect instant gratification. Fitness is a hard thing to master and needs to be a long-term situation, not a short-term fix to get to where you want to be.
Only you can control how you’ll train, but with the right attitude and the right knowledge, you can get back into a routine in no time at all and it will feel like second nature.

Normatec Compression Sleeves

What’s a NormaTec? The compression therapy elite athletes love

Like cryotherapy, compression therapy has been around for decades as a medical treatment. In fact, NormaTec started as a medical device company to treat a condition called lymphedema (chronic swelling).

Now the company’s focus is athletic recovery, but its roots lie in the science of blood flow: Your circulatory system delivers oxygen, nutrients and hormones to every cell in your body. Simultaneously, this complex circuit removes metabolic wastes such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, effectively flushing your system of toxins.

The idea behind compression therapy is that by increasing blood flow to specific parts of the body — encouraging your body to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to those areas — you can speed up recovery, relieve pain and improve athletic performance.

Benefits of compression therapy

Reducing swelling and inflammation

Speeding up muscle recovery

Preventing delayed-onset muscle soreness

Relieving muscle pain

Improving athletic performance

Increasing flexibility and range of motion

Removing exercise-related wastes, like lactic acid

Decreasing muscle fatigue  

NormaTec

Worth the hype?

Personally, I think yes. Despite some wishy-washy clinical trials, these products are backed by a valid scientific principle: Compression therapy increases blood flow, which delivers nutrients to your muscles and removes waste like lactic acid. That’s why active recovery (like stretching and walking) is so much better than passive recovery (doing nothing).

Flexibilty

Flexibility is one of the five components of fitness, so stretching should be an integral part of every workout program. 
Have a read of these 10 benefits of stretching:
1. Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Stretching helps improve your range of motion, which may also slow the degeneration of your joints.
2. May reduce your risk of injury. A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured if you have to make a sudden move. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you can decrease the resistance on your body’s muscles during various activities.
3. Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching your muscles helps keep them loose and lessens the shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
4. Improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest helps keep your back in better alignment and improves your posture.
5. Helps reduce or manage stress. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and, therefore, can help you feel less stressed.
6. Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation. Chronically tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation, resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients. Stretching allows your muscles to relax.
7. Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Because a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.
8. Prepares the body for the stress of exercise. Stretching prior to exercise allows your muscles to loosen up and become better able to withstand the impact of the activity you choose to do.
9. Promotes circulation. Stretching increases blood supply to your muscles and joints, which allows for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through your entire body.
10. Decreases the risk of low-back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine, which in turn reduces your risk of low-back pain.

6 Reasons You Should Go To The Gym Today Even If It’s The Last Thing You Want To Do

Despite our natural inclination toward relaxation whenever possible, there are a few good reasons to go to the gym, even when all you want to do is absolutely nothing.


1. Your body will thank you in the long run.
Exercise doesn’t just strengthen your muscles, it also strengthens your heart and bones, lowers your blood pressure and of course, reduces your body fat.


2. It will improve your relationships.
You’ll also have more energy to be around people in your life. You’ll want to go out and be social rather than sit around. Exercising gives us a body we can feel attractive in with our spouse or significant other. 


3. You’ll feel better.
Endorphins interact with your brain’s receptors to reduce your sense of pain, resulting in a euphoric and uplifting feeling. 


4. It will improve your sleep.
You’ll pass out when you hit the pillow if you’ve had a full day with some added exercise into the mix.


5. You’ll be less stressed.
Overcoming any anxiety about being seen at the gym or not being in shape will be rewarded tenfold when you start feeling fitter, happier, more confident and more in charge of your health as a result.
Stress comes partially from having time on our hands to let our minds bounce from one worry to the next, and it also comes from unhealthy habits that cause physical issues, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Getting to the gym will take away the physical impetus for stress and reduce the time you have to let your mind wander. In turn, you will find a sense of peace and happiness.


6. It gives your self-esteem a boost.
Going to the gym may take you one step closer to wearing that pair of jeans from two years ago that you’ve been nostalgically holding onto. Feeling good about how you look shouldn’t be understated.
Getting more exercise will help you feel like you can tackle the world a bit more, and it will shine a spotlight on your inner, as well as outer beauty.

How to Prepare For Your First Marathon


First thought, how am I going to run 26.2 miles!? 

These top tips will help ⤵️

Are You On The Right Training Plan❓

You need to gradually build up your mileage and endurance while incorporating enough rest to prevent overuse injuries. Follow a plan that coincides with your current running level and not a plan with a significant increase in mileage or frequency. It’s also important to consider the suggested number of running days and specified mileage in order to determine if the plan is feasible.

Fueling and Recovery:

You’re undoubtedly going to be hungry after all of that running, but eating the right foods at the right times can help you fuel and recover during training. There is a small window of time up to 30-minutes after a hard training run when the body is best able to replenish and utilize the carbohydrates and protein that were used during exercise. Experts recommend consuming foods with a 3 to 1 protein to carbohydrate ratio. You can also refuel using protein shakes or chocolate milk.

Make sure to do some post-run stretching, and use ice or cold water dips to alleviate inflammation, and ease sore and damaged muscles. Using heat and/or a foam roller is a good way to soothe sore muscles.

Goal Setting
For novice marathon runners, simply finishing the event is a huge accomplishment. However do think about pacing so you don’t go out too fast or exert too much energy in the early part of the race.

Mental Preparation
The mindset and confidence level you establish during training can influence your performance and outlook on race day. Adequate mental preparation can help to instill confidence, which will help runners relax more before and during the race.

Get the Right Equipment
When choosing a shoe, runners should find a pair that is comfortable, light and flexible. Go to a local running or sporting goods store and try on several different pairs. Many specialized stores will let you run in the shoes, and give you helpful feedback to choose the right pair. It’s also important to get high-quality socks that are both comfortable and protective. 

What to Eat Before the Race

Many athletes think that carbo-loading the night before a big race is the best strategy but it is best to consume carbohydrates such as rice or pasta at lunch instead, and having a smaller dinner.

Understand it Will be Hard, But You Can Do It

Committing to a training plan and following through with the taxing, demanding workouts is extremely challenging. But once you have made it and you line up at the start line, certain parts of the race can prove more difficult than others.

These strategies can help anyone cross the finish line at their very first marathon. Just remember to start out slow and steady and don’t get discouraged. Support and encouragement from friends and family can also help to boost morale and keep you going throughout the process. So enlist a cheering section, lace up your shoes, and get out there and run!