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How to Get Back Into a Regular Exercise Routine

After taking a break, gradually get back into the exercise groove

Adapted from NIH/National Institute on Aging | May 25, 2012

Has it been awhile since you’ve exercised? Life can get in the way of your physical activity routine. Whether it’s a vacation, illness, or other commitment that interrupted your exercise schedule, you can start again and be successful.

If you’ve stopped your exercise routine, here are some tips to help you start again:

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just try to get back to your activities as soon as possible.
  • Think about the reasons you started exercising and how much you’ve already accomplished.
  • Start again at a comfortable level and gradually build back up.
  • Try an activity you’ve never done before.
  • Believe in yourself!

The next time a break in your routine occurs, try these strategies to help you stick with your physical activity plan:
  • When you’re on vacation, get out and see the sights on foot or visit the hotel fitness center.
  • Caring for an ill spouse can understandably interrupt your exercise routine. Ask a friend to help out for a while so you can go for a brisk walk.
  • If your exercise buddy moves away, sign up for an exercise class at a nearby senior center or fitness center. This is a great way to meet other active people.
  • Hip surgery can affect the types of exercise you do. Talk to your doctor about the best activities for you to try.
  • Be flexible and creative. If your grandchildren come for a visit, reschedule your exercise for their nap time or, better yet, take them with you on a walk.

This material is provided by Go4Life, the exercise and physical activity campaign for adults over 50 from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.