A few months ago, I started working with a client who'd been away from exercise for almost 2 years. Coming back after such a long break wasn't easy. She kept thinking about how strong she used to be, making her workouts, literally, an exercise in frustration. Taking a break from exercise doesn't mean you're a failure, but it can sure feel that way the first time you test your body with exercises you used to breeze through with no problem.
So how do you get past that? How do you focus on the present instead of dwelling on the past?
A while back I asked my readers to talk about how they get back to exercise after a break. I got some great responses, but my favorite was posted by About.com Guest OMPilates who said:
'When I go back to exercising after a break, I focus on the good things. For example, I'm refreshed and my technique is often better. I'm also in a place to make and see changes in my form that I couldn't when I was in my routine. It doesn't take that long to get strength and flexibility back - a few weeks maybe - so I don't worry about that.'
I love that kind of positive attitude, but I'll bet most of us spend more time kicking ourselves for past mistakes than accepting where we are and going from there. If you're struggling to get back to exercise after a long winter, there are things you can do to make the process easier, and I think the most important is to admit where you went wrong and forgive yourself.
What do you think? Have you gotten off track with exercise and, if so, how did you get past the guilt? Leave a comment or share your story here, telling us all about how to come back from an exercise break."