How To Exercise Caution When Getting Back to Exercise

by Christine Sine

Today’s post in the What is a Spiritual Practice series was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online bible college . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

I took to jogging a year ago and discovered that I loved the feeling of running with and against the wind every morning, well before the sun made its appearance on the horizon. It filled me with a sense of peace and serenity as I made my way around the park, listening to the chirping of the birds and watching the shadows give way to the first light of dawn. Most important of all, jogging helped me connect with my inner self because it was time that I had to myself, time in which I could commune with God and my conscience.

But then, frequent travel and too much work messed up my routine and I ended up neglecting my daily run. One week turned into four or five, and by the time I realized that so much time had gone by, I had begun to put on weight around my waist and hips. And so, one fine morning, I awoke my lazy self from slumber and made my way to the park by 5.30 am. But when I began to run, I found that I was not up to par, both at the fitness and health levels. I was out of breath and had to stop before the whole hour was up, mainly because I did not want to push myself and cause injury.

The trouble with getting back on the exercise track after a long lull is that:

  • You need to exercise caution: You cannot go all out and push yourself like you normally do because you are more prone to injury if you do. Your body is rusty with no exercise for a long time and this means you need to pace yourself and take it slowly in order to avoid hurting yourself.
  • You’re more prone to injury: This is because you’re not as fast or flexible as you were before; so when you think you are or try to prove a point to yourself and others, you end up taxing your body and causing injury to yourself.
  • You cannot go all out: While you would like to perform at the level you are used to (like running 7 miles in an hour or so), you are not able to because your body is not as fit as it was before. So you’re forced to slow down and prevent yourself from going all out, a fact that tends to bug you because you feel you haven’t gotten enough exercise or performed to your potential.
    When you begin to work out after a long time, make sure you warm up adequately before you begin so that you don’t injure your muscles or take a spill. Also, eat foods that provide you with energy for your workout, like bananas or wheat bread. When you exercise caution, you know you’re exercising wisely.

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