Trainer Mike Offers Insights on Getting Started Again 

Here’s a little workout wisdom from Club Julian certified personal trainer Mike Salamon on how to ease back into cardio training after a long layoff:

Now that we’ve turned back the clocks for the winter, those of you who got used to doing outside exercise like walking or running in the evening are probably now finding yourself a little short on daylight.  Plus, the weather will eventually change for the worse in the months to come.  So, if you are looking to shift back into an indoor cardio routine, let’s talk about how to make it happen in a smart and safe way. 

It is very important to understand that if you haven’t been to the club since the March COVID closure, your cardiovascular conditioning will likely be affected at least somewhat, and that everyone is different. First it depends on how active you were during your time away from CJ.  If you were able to get outside and do a great deal of walking, you likely won’t have lost as much conditioning as compared to being inactive. The other thing that we all need to be cognizant of during our cardio comeback is that wearing masks while doing cardio is currently required at Club Julian, and covering your face and mouth while doing aerobic activity will affect what you can do to at least some degree, but again, everyone is different. Those who have been doing their cardio exercise outdoors without a mask may experience a degree of difference when doing their cardio indoors with a mask.  

So, the most important thing when you return is not worry about hitting numbers or what you used to be able to do, but rather to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. As soon as you start to feel yourself get out of breath or get to a point where you would have trouble maintaining a normal conversation, first SLOW DOWN, and then STOP. If you are disappointed with the amount of conditioning you have lost, please don’t let it get you down. Instead rejoice in the fact that you are now able to exercise again and embrace the challenge of building back better and stronger than before!

How specifically should you strategize your cardio comeback?  The general thinking is to first increase the number of days that you are exercising, followed by an increase in the duration of each individual exercise session, and finally increase the intensity.  

OK – let’s just say it’s your first day back and you got yourself a date with your old friend the Cross Trainer. You don your mask and start out at Level 3.  As described above, you are going to listen to your body. Stay at level 3 or lower, start out at a comfortable pace and keep going until you feel just a bit winded or uncomfortable. That is when you are done, DON’T FORCE IT!  

Let’s say that you can do 15 minutes until you decide to stop.  Analyze how you feel afterwards, but especially how you feel the next day. Do you feel energetic and want to come back and do more? Or do you feel a bit sore, tired, or lack motivation? Listen to your body.  If you haven’t been exercising much since March, you might want to limit the number of days that you come in that week to a maximum of 3. You can slowly add to the number of days you are doing cardio and also the amount of time per session until you reach 5 days and 30 minutes each. Only then should you start to increase the intensity. 

Remember that if you were active you can be a bit more aggressive initially, but also remember that conditions are different now from what they were in March. Just listen to your body and be good to yourself!

Comments?  Questions?  We are here to help!  Schedule a cardio comeback session with me or any of our personal training team today!