Workout articles, healthy lifestyle tips, and fitness advice.

How to Get Back into Working Out After Some Time Off

How to start working out again

There are a thousand reasons your fitness journey may have stalled.


Whether you’ve been recovering from an injury or put off from the pandemic, this article will remind you that speed bumps don’t have to become stop signs. If you’re ready to jump back into fitness after a breakand to remember why you loved it in the first placethen there’s no better time to start than today.


Remember, it’s never too late, no matter how long it’s been.

6 Tips to Ease Back into Working Out

What’s important now is that you’re ready to get back into a routine, so congratulations are in order. 


Here are six tips to get you back into working out again: 

  1. Take it Slow. You won’t do yourself any favors by overexerting yourself early on, and burning out in a week with 90-minute gym sessions. Start slow, literally. Pace yourself on the machines. Start with lower weights and resistance. Put the treadmill on a lower speed. Easy does it.
  2. Watch For Ego. Maybe you’re no longer the person who could run a 5k without breaking a sweat. That’s ok. You’ll regain strength and endurance with time. Don’t let your pride get in the way of making progress or push yourself too hard too quickly. 
  3. Stretch. A lot. After a few days in a workout routine, your body will start feeling it. Do yourself a favor and balance your return to working out with generous stretching sessions before and after your workouts. Stretching keeps muscles strong and flexible, which is essential to maintain your range of motion both inside and outside the gym.
  4. Mix it Up. You probably have a few old favorite workouts that you’re excited to revisit, but it’s also great to learn something new. Your body and mind will enjoy the variety. In fact, medical experts agree that changing up your workout routine can help you target all key muscle groups, as well as avoid plateaus and mental fatigue. 
  5. Be Kind. By jumping back into working out, you’re doing a good thing for your mental and physical health. So be nice to yourself. Reward yourself for small wins and remind yourself you’re doing a great job!
  6. Schedule Rest Days. Rest days aren’t simply a day off. They’re integral to rebuilding strength and allowing your muscles to recover. Make sure you’re resting adequately to allow yourself to build strength naturally. 


Remember, health and fitness is a lifelong journey, not a six-month sprint. Cultivating a long-term mindset around working out will help you stay motivated to care for yourself for the long haul.

A Few Sample Exercises to Get Back Into Working Out

It doesn’t have to be complicated to start. Simplicity is often best. One of the easiest ways to get moving is by walking around the block a few times on a Saturday. Yes, that can count as a workout! 


It can also be as easy as 10-15 squats, lunges, jumping jacks, or crunches during the commercial breaks of your favorite show. Then, once you’re ready, you might enjoy trying an on-demand workout right at home, like this upper body workout with Teddy. Remember, easy does it.

4 Steps to Forming Successful Habits

As we’ve said, fitness is a lifelong journey, not a one-and-done situation. The best way to make working out a permanent part of your life is to make it a routine that’s as ingrained as brushing your teeth or washing your face. We want to hone in on what turns an activity into a habit. 

  1. Clarify Your “Why”
    Successful habit-forming builds on strong motivation, which only exists when you’re clear on why you’re starting to work out again. Whether you have a specific goal—like running this year’s Turkey Trot instead of walking—or you’re looking to feel better, it’s important to know why you’re working out again after time away. 

  2. Think Holistically
    There’s more to a successful workout routine than checking off your cardio and strength training. Think of easing back into working out as part of your self-care instead of a one-stop shop. You’ll also want to drink water, feed yourself well, and get quality sleep as part of your holistic health journey. This way, on days you miss the gym or skip a workout, you can still focus on the other things that keep you healthy. 

  3. Bring a Buddy
    Everything’s more fun with a friend. That’s why Planet Fitness’ PF Black Card(R) membership allows you to bring a guest to workout with you - every time you visit. Having an accountability partner means you’ll have backup motivation on tough days.

  4. Block Off Time
    Plan ahead by blocking off time on your calendar, buy a new outfit that makes you feel awesome when you hit the gym, and prep your gym bag the night before so all you have to do is slip out of bed and hit the road. What to do once you’re there? Check out this beginner workout plan for ideas.

FREE “Jump Back In” Program on the PF App

Hopefully, you’re feeling motivated by now. And we have the perfect place to jumpstart your gym routine—this free program with expert trainer Caroll Zeamer offers options for everyone, whether you’re starting to work out at home or at the gym. Download the PF App today to get started and “jump back in.”