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Sep 7, 2022

Where Do We Go From Here? Rebooting Your Workout Routine After Time Off

We’ve all been through this together.  The start of a pandemic, the closing of facilities, including our workout gyms, adhering to sheltering in place measures, the worry of being exposed to COVID, the continuation of a pandemic, then the threat of other elements are now closing in on us.

After time off from exercising, or exercising at our regular level, it is understandable if you are having a hard time getting motivated to get back into your routine.  You may feel bad about not being where you were two or three years ago.  You may feel sad, as emotions play a big part in our exercise lifestyle.  It is important to go easy on yourself.

Let’s think about the path to get back on track.  Most of us think that trying to jump back into a workout routine and to “go hard” or to do some heavy weight training or intense cardio is best, but this approach will over stress your body and mind, and you could easily hurt yourself by training too hard, and too soon after having your body adjust to not as much exercise, or none at all.

The best scenario is to develop a plan to safely guide yourself back into an effective workout regimen that will get you back to what your body was used to before COVID or before you experience your time off.

The first key thing to do is to:


When getting back into an exercise regimen, it’s natural to focus on how we want to look.  The most important thing we should focus on, however; is thinking about how the physical activity will make us feel.  Any negativity we may be feeling about our bodies and being “out of shape” actually comes from our minds and sends a message to our brain that causes us to become uninterested in exercising at all.


Consistency is the key to making a former lifestyle habit a habit again.  After spending a couple of weeks following your newly established routine, it is important to map out a logistic plan to where and when you’ll train to avoid any unexpected derailments that can quickly escalate and cause you giving yourself excuses not to return to working out.


Accountability is key.  Kudos to the people that can work out by themselves.  They deserve a medal just for being able to keep themselves accountable and to get out there by themselves.  For those of us that need others to keep us motivated, research has shown that when you know someone is counting on you to show up, you will show up as well.  There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the fact that others keep you accountable.  Remember:  a community is a good and healthy thing to be a part of.


You may have been thinking about getting back into your routine as fast as you can so you can rush the pounds, or the inches away.  Do not feel pressured to exercise at the same level and intensity that you did pre-COVID or any break you took.  Easing back into a routine is best not only for your muscles, but for your mind as well.  Putting pressure on yourself to hurry and get any pounds you gained off, is pressure on your brain, which can lead to stress, which can lead to disappointment.

Be realistic. Do not set your expectations so high that they leave you more discouraged than you were when we all had to stop our routines due to the world shutting down.

Allow this pause we all experienced in life to teach you a lesson:

It is okay to start again. It is okay if you stopped your workout routine.  Show yourself some grace and get back on the horse and give it just a little kick of encouragement.

Where do we go from here?  On our continued road of

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in the Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.