April 4

How to get back into the swing of things after a break


According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, which ranks life events according to the impact they have on a person’s life, a “major change in living conditions” ranks 25 on a scale of 11 to 100, the latter being death of a spouse.  

I beg to differ.

The fact that I’m writing this “Monday” Motivation newsletter/blog on Tuesday after spending the weekend moving into our new house should prove my point.

I don’t normally miss a deadline for anything less than a 50-pointer: marriage, being fired at work, or incarceration. Even then.

Although we moved “officially” Friday (in quotes because this move will never really end), in my bleary-eyed state I just now nearly tried to make a salad in a coffee pot carafe.  Stress, sleep deprivation and rummaging through boxes looking for basic necessities (why is my underwear in the shrink-wrapped dresser stored in the garage???) to get through the day will do that to you.

Oh, and our TV decided it had enough and conked out just as we got here. I’m not a huge TV watcher, but it is the one time I relax.

So there’s no real escape from the madness.

Then, of course, my workouts add another layer to the mix.

I started going to a new gym. All new people, unfamiliar equipment and two flights of stairs to reach the weight equipment make me feel as if I’ve never been in a gym in my entire life.

With my wonderfully arthritis knees, I should take the elevator back down. But who goes to a gym to work out and then waits for the elevator?

Nope, I just hobbled back down like all the other old folks, white-knuckling the railing and pretending to be all casual about it. I fooled no one, I’m sure.

But this made me think…

  • The only way I’d ever move again is if I am cryogenically frozen and thawed out only after everything is in its place in the new house  

         Me, cryogenically frozen
  • Never, ever, ever, ever again
  • This better be worth it

So whether you’re recovering from an illness, a hellacious move, or took time off for any other various reason, follow these rules to avoid injury and get back in the swing…

1. Take 50% off

No, I’m not referring to a Macy’s sale, although retail therapy isn’t the worst idea. When it’s been more than a a couple of weeks since you last got your workout on, start at about half your usual intensity. This goes for weight as well as time for cardio. See how you feel the next day. Gradually add on until you’re back to where you started.

2. Stretch it out

Foam rolling before and after or simple stretching can ease discomfort. It’s good as a regular practice but especially now. Or mix in a yoga or Pilates class for extra stretching.

3. Don’t be a hero

If you’re really sore, over-the-counter pain relievers help ease inflammation. A doctor once told me, “Don’t try to tough it out. It’s not good for your body to be inflamed. Take something if you need it.” And, obviously, if your doctor says it’s safe for you.

4. Focus on cardio

You lose cardiovascular fitness before strength, so get back on that saddle as soon as you can. Just be sure to ease into it as well.

5. Don’t fret

We all have times when we can’t do our usual routine. Do not beat yourself up over it. Like eating healthy, it’s the average of what you do every day that counts, not the one or two times in your life when you fall short.

HOW ABOUT YOU? Have you ever had to take extended time off from your usual routine? Let me know in the comments section below!  And please forward this to your ageless friends… I’d be forever grateful! ♥

Other posts you may enjoy…

Top 5 motivational posts of all time (or at least the past couple years)

How to change what you can… and make peace with the rest

4 Motivation killers you underestimate (and how to turn them around)

By the way, do you have a topic you’d like me to cover here that others may also be wondering? Send your idea my way at linda@lindamelone.com and it may appear as a future topic.

Until next time… Your Ageless Body Coach,


exercise, fitness, motivation, over 50, starting over, women

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