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Returning to Activity After A Break (i.e. A Pandemic!)

Getting back into an exercise routine can be daunting - both mentally and physically. This past year, activity and exercise levels dropped for many people. Gym closures, stay at home orders, child care limitations, etc. were all legitimate reasons for disruption in our life and exercise routines. In Denver, we saw gyms close completely for 2-3 months and then had several months of shortened hours and restricted use. Many people, including me, turned to home exercises (hello, Peloton! and YouTube) with various forms of success. Finding space in the home, making time in a wacky schedule, and finding motivation were common barriers to developing a regular exercise routine. In some areas of the country, finding a set of dumbbells or purchasing a bike meant waiting a few weeks, or even a few months. In Central Colorado, we're lucky to experience mild winters and have access to the outdoors most of the winter, but it only takes a couple of snow storms (and days of being stuck inside due to the cold and snow) to disrupt a routine. It's hard to exercise when you don't have the equipment and space!

Now it is August 2021, and in Denver, Colorado (and most other areas of the country), gyms are back open, the weather is nice, and the vaccine is widely available. This all means we can get back into our normal exercise routines! But getting back into the groove requires some planning, prepping, and knowledge. Keep reading for some helpful hints and strategies!

Read more about the benefits of exercise:

Injury Prevention Keys

  • Start Slow: Resume activity at ~30% of where you left off with your last regular exercise routine.

  • Progress Gradually: Progress intensity/load of exercise ~10% each week.

  • Take Days Off: Listen to your body, if you need a day off, take a day off!

  • Warm Up, Cool Down, & Stretch: Prepare you body appropriately for exercise.

Read more about returning to running after an extended break:

Even the best laid plans go astray. What to do if you develop pain:

  • Step 1: Rest! Take a few days off. Use ice or heat if that helps your pain feel better.

  • Step 2: Stretch, theragun, get a massage, etc. to help reduce pain.

  • Step 3: If 7-10 days of resting & stretching doesn't do the trick, see a physical therapist! It is easier to address ailments early on to get you back to exercise ASAP.

  • Step 4: Do your home exercises! Many exercise related injuries are due to imbalances and poor form; if we don't change what caused the injury in the first place, it is likely to return.

Be Strong Mentally:

  • Make a Plan: Map out our goal exercise routine for the week or month and schedule it in your calendar. Exercising is easier when you make time for it.

  • Find an Exercise Buddy: Encourage each other and help keep each other accountable.

  • Sign Up for a Race or an Event: Find a local 5K run, a bike race, or an obstacle race 2-3 months away that you can work towards. Many races/events have built in training plans when you sign up. My next race is the Steamboat Stinger Trail Half Marathon this weekend!

Fuel Your Body:

  • Get Enough Sleep: 7-8 hours a night is the ideal number of hours for brain and body health. Sleep is when our tissues remodel and heal.

  • Focus on Nutrition: Exercise requires energy (calories). Ensure that you are consuming enough calories to fuel your exercise.

  • Stay Hydrated: Make sure you are drinking enough water to prevent dehydration.

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and happy. If you're still struggling with getting back into an exercise routine, email me directly at: Jessica@physioyogaandwellness. Let's chat and make a plan to get you where you want to be!

Schedule an appointment for Health Coaching here:


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