Fitness Tips & Workout Ideas

Easing into Exercise Slowly

My fitness routine changes pretty regularly. I do a lot of walking (since it’s my #1 form of transportation!), but otherwise I feel as though there’s a lot of ebb and flow with exercising. I’ll go from running and doing power yoga sessions to light strength training at home to gentle hatha yoga to cycling around the city to skiing outside… it changes all the time.

On the one hand, this is a good thing: it keeps my muscles guessing and ensures that I don’t neglect aerobic vs. anaerobic fitness, or forget about key muscle groups.

On the other hand, it means that I have had to really learn the art of easing into exercise slowly after I’ve taken it easy for too long!

Easing into exercise slowly: why it's a good idea for long-lasting, sustainable fitness! ~ fitness tips ~ beginner exercise tips

It’s not quite kayaking weather yet… but I love that there are different activities for all seasons of the year!

It’s not that I *only* like doing hardcore exercise or that I *only* like to do gentle forms of exercise. I like all of it to varying extents and degrees at different times of the year and in different ways, and I’m sure that that is a big reason for why I’ll sometimes go for months with high-intensity exercise, then switch to low-intensity, etc.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do as much exercise during the holiday season. And before that, there was the whole thing where I kept waking up late in the morning, so I wasn’t doing yoga consistently, either.

Part of me really wants to just jump into my favorite classes at GoodLife Fitness (I love the BodyCombat class especially!), but I also know that it’ll probably be a bit of a shock to my system if I start doing it when I haven’t been doing as much in the way of strength training lately.

That’s why I’m having fun skiing and skating outside a couple times each week, walking on an inclined treadmill at GoodLife Fitness, and doing gentle hatha yoga in the morning. I’m looking forward to getting back into BodyCombat, but I also know me, and if I jump in too fast, too soon, the novelty and fun of it will burn out quickly.

Knowing how and when to ease into exercise can be a challenge! But easing into exercise slowly can also really help us to keep exercising for longer periods of time. I don’t want to start doing a high-intensity workout and then feel so sore for a week afterwards that I can barely move (which has happened to me in the past. I get too excited about these types of activities and push myself a little too hard sometimes :)).

To me, fitness should be about having fun, being strong, and feeling great. That usually also means a little bit of muscle soreness—I just want to make sure it’s not so much soreness that it deters me from continuing with the activity!

What do you do to try easing into exercise slowly? Do you prefer to just jump into a high-intensity workout and work through the soreness or gradually build yourself up to different types of exercise? How are you staying fit this winter? Share in the comments section below!

This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. Contemplative Fitness

    I agree with almost all of this, but “light strength training” is like saying, yoga without moving. Forgive me for playing devils’ advocate, but moderate to heavier strength training is much more beneficial than light strength training, though I know this is a relative term. Just sayin’…

    1. Sagan Morrow

      And this is so very true!

      When I say “light strength training,” I’m referring more to body weight exercises and lifting 8-lbs weights (and not officially doing multiple sets – more of doing 10 reps of five-10 different exercises a few times each week in between work). But… I guess calling it “light” is rather a funny term for it 🙂

      I do find the “light” vs. “heavier” to be such an interesting topic – I kind of feel like it’s probably good to do a mix of both since presumably lifting lighter weights would have a different effect on the muscles than heavier weights, so doing one day of light and one day of heavy would be really good for the muscles? (But you’re the expert in that field!). I like lifting heavier weights, but I can’t quite physically lift the weights Mr Science has (yet). Clearly I need to work on my strength training more!

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