How to Start Exercising Again After a Long Break

I have a good friend who has pretty much given up all hope of exercising. She was on a roll in the beginning of the year but after a bout with the flu, she stopped exercising and eventually lost interest all together. Unfortunately, many people get in a rut and find it hard to pull themselves out when it comes to exercising.

I was in a rut for a very long time, years in fact, when I wouldn’t exercise at all. Family would pester me about the importance of exercising and I just blew it all off because I wasn’t motivated.

Below, I am sharing what I think will benefit anyone like my friend who is stuck in a rut and needs motivation to start working out again.

Get a check up – A lot of times, it takes a doctor to tell you that you need to drop some weight, lower your cholesterol, and other health issues to get you moving again. If you have a purpose, it may motivate you to take action.

Walk first – When you haven’t exercised in a long time, your motivation level is very low. Walking is one of the simplest exercises to use in order to get back into the habit. Once you can walk, then you can build up to a jog, and eventually a run.

Invest in an iPod – I can’t workout without music. Listening to your own playlist is extremely motivating so I suggest investing in an Apple iPod or other mp3 player.

Learn something new – Most of the time people who don’t like exercise don’t like it because it’s boring. If that’s the case for you, do something that won’t feel like exercise like learning martial arts, swimming, learning tennis, boxing lessons, etc.

Become an expert – Pick an activity and become a pro at it. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to run a marathon or become a bodybuilder. It doesn’t matter if you’re out of shape now, just pick what you like, train and become an expert in it.

I think the best way I avoid exercise ruts is by not going too long without workout out. I have stayed consistant about working out so it has become a habit like flossing. When it becomes a habit, then it is harder to break.

Have you experienced exercise ruts? How did you break out of them?


Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

10 thoughts on “How to Start Exercising Again After a Long Break”

  1. Excellent tip about the music. When I started running I used to get bored really easily but translated that in to tiredness thinking I had run far enough. When I tried with some fast dance music, not only did it remove the boredom but also seemed to make me push myself harder. Thumbs up

  2. @Ian – I was the same way trying to run without music and I lost motivation really fast. Music makes time go faster.

    @Ryan – A good workout partner will keep you going too. Finding a reliable one is the tough part.

  3. Just to add, great suggestions as mentioned by other posters.

    One thing I always try to instill in my clients is that everything they have ever done, has got them to the point at which they find themselves at that moment. If that happens to be a rut, then often new approaches, and new learnings will break through the barriers and bring new success.

    The hard bit is in abandoning what has always worked to get you where you’re at and doing something new which could take you further than you have gone before.

    Best Wishes

  4. Great ideas. I have been in a rut for a long time and now its time to get back out of it. I use to be more fit and healthier and I feel the toll it has taken on my body by not working out. I tried running from my home and got bored right away. Then I thought of trying something new like you said but its too expensive. So now I joined a gym and when I see others working out it motivates me even more.
    And walking first is key! Great suggestion I tried running and ended up walking the whole time when i first got back into it!

  5. Hey I TOTALLY agree with you! I think that finding something that you want to be awesome at is the key to exercise. I wanted to run. I always felt that was not one of my strengths and I always envied people at the gym enjoying themselves as they ran. I also wanted my workout journey to be a learning experience, so I could learn more about my own body. I found personal trainer Roland Semprie at Roland Semprie Rosedale and he has helped me become a MUCH better runner and has answers to all of my questions!

  6. I avoid exercise ruts by always keeping one thing in mind, “It takes 3 weeks to make something a habit, but 3 days to break it.” I feel like if I stop for a couple of days I am erasing the work I put in for 3 weeks prior!

  7. Great post! I think this is something that is often overlooked when people talk about getting in shape. It’s just sometimes difficult to begin in the first place! I agree that it’s easiest if you just don’t let yourself go too long without working out. Of course, music helps too!

  8. i was stuck in the worst rut of my life, just kept making excuses after excuses and kept myself from working out. didnt have time, too lazy, no where cool(i lived in the desert), etc… then i moved to california and started surfing again! yay motivation! for the first time in as long as i can remember im excited to wake up at the crack of dawn and get 2 hours of exercise in before work 🙂

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