Getting Back in Shape: 3 Key Considerations After a Long Layoff
If you’re planning to get back in shape after a long break, there are three essential factors to keep in mind. Surprisingly, two of these considerations don’t directly involve exercise but are crucial for the success of your fitness journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top three things you should focus on when returning to a workout routine. Let’s dive in!
#1 Prioritize Sleep for Optimal Recovery:
After any exercise, the body requires time to recuperate and adapt. Think of exercise as controlled trauma that breaks down tissues, prompting the body to rebuild and grow stronger. This recovery process primarily takes place during sleep. Getting sufficient sleep is vital for maximizing the benefits of your exercise program. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least seven hours of sleep each night for most individuals. While everyone’s sleep needs may differ, striving to increase your sleep duration gradually can significantly impact your progress. Consider going to bed earlier, relaxing before sleep, and consistently making progress toward the goal of adequate rest.
#2 Focus on Nutrition, Especially Protein Intake:
To support your body’s changes during exercise, it needs the necessary supplies. Among these, protein plays a crucial role. Protein is not only essential for building muscle but also for hormone production, antibody formation, neurotransmitter synthesis, and enzyme creation. To prevent deficiencies and optimize your progress, aim for a daily protein intake of at least your body weight multiplied by 0.35 grams. For even better results, doubling that amount can be beneficial. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, consume at least 65 grams of protein per day to prevent deficiencies, and aim for 115-165 grams for optimal benefits. Consuming adequate protein helps control hunger, boosts metabolism, and aids in achieving fitness goals. Various protein sources, including shakes, smoothies, meats, dairy products, or vegan alternatives, are suitable for meeting your protein requirements.
#3 Prioritize Strength Training over Cardio:
When it comes to workout selection, particularly if you have limited time available, focusing on strength training can yield optimal results. While cardiovascular exercises make your heart and lungs work harder, strength training engages not only your cardiovascular system but also your skeletal muscles. This multitasking aspect makes strength training more efficient. By incorporating resistance exercises using weights, machines, bands, or even your bodyweight, you can challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system simultaneously. Strength training offers a comprehensive workout experience, enabling you to maximize your time and effort. Remember, strength training doesn’t necessarily mean lifting heavyweights—it’s about selecting appropriate resistance that challenges you while maintaining proper technique.
As you embark on your fitness journey after a long layoff, keep these three key considerations in mind. Prioritize sleep to allow your body to recover and make progress. Pay attention to your protein intake, ensuring you consume enough to support muscle growth and overall health. Finally, focus on strength training to make the most of your limited workout time by engaging both your cardiovascular and muscular systems. By incorporating these principles into your routine, you’ll set yourself up for success in getting back in shape and achieving your fitness goals.