How to get back into exercise after a break

It took me a good 2 years to develop a solid exercise routine. I was running, taking spinning, kettlecise and bodypump classes and hitting the gym with the odd bit of yoga thrown in, so I was pretty hardcore! Then I got pregnant and scaled things back, but I was still working out at the gym 3 times a week minimum and I was even working out the day before I gave birth (unbeknown to me at the time of course!)

After I had got over the initial shock of having Fin early, I really wanted to get back into exercising but struggled at first. The biggest barriers were time and energy closely followed by feeling like a shadow of my former self! Gone was the fit girl who could run non-stop and lift the heavy weights. That was after a break of about 8 weeks. We all end up having breaks in our routine from time to time whether that’s a holiday, injury, illness or having a baby.

Whatever the reason for your break in working out, it can be hard to pick back up where you left off. 

I decided to ask a few of my pals who are fitness experts for their top tips on getting back into exercise after a break…

‘Make a plan, schedule it in your diary & take measurements!’


Carly RowenaPT, blogger, YouTuber and fitness expert


  • Take things slow, even if you feel full of energy and feel like you can do a lot more, still take it slow and build up gradually.
  • Try and drink lots of water, 2 litres a day.
  • A lot of people, when they’re wanting to cut down or start a new training regime, sometimes really reduce their food intake or reduce their intake of carbs. Your body needs all nutrients to function so make sure you’re getting the right carbs, proteins and fats.
  • Get a programme and stick to it for 4-6 weeks, then change it. So you’re not getting bored and your body doesn’t get used to doing the same thing.
  • Be realistic and set real achievable goals.
  • Try and find something you enjoy – they’re loads of different activities, group sessions, fitness classes and 1-2-1s so find something you enjoy.

12033648_10153064355685895_1417114098_nCatherine from Muscle Tone Fitness


‘My top tip would be to start slow, maybe even some restorative yoga to help de-stress and reset the body before you build it back up. Don’t just start with the hardest thing because you want to burn calories as it won’t be sustainable and your body will produce cortisol, which can actually encourage the storage of fat. Most of all find something you enjoy!’ 

015Jo from Happy Yoga Newcastle


‘Get your “fitness basics” in place. What I mean by that is 1) a strong pelvic floor and 2) a strong stable core – without these two fundamentals all other fitness could well crumble in the longer term.’

9a193555ef98162b2f68c920ab6fad77Dr Joanna Helcke, Zest4lifeUK 


Stay tuned for part 2 of this post where I’ll be sharing more super helpful information from Dr Jo all about those fitness basics.

Some great tips there from the experts, I love the variety of approaches. All I’d add is to not compare yourself to how you used to be. For example, a few years ago I ran the Great North Run in 1 hour 51 minutes. Two weekends ago I ran it in 2 hours 40. I could be bummed that I am obviously so much less fit (and thin!) than I was back then, but I choose not to look at it like that. I think 2 hours 40 is a good time, all things considered. There’s no point in comparing my performance to the ‘old me’ because I’m just not that person any more. Instead I’m focusing on what I can do now that I’m starting to really build up a routine again. The next thing on my list is a jogging buggy so I can go out for short runs with Fin!

If you’ve had a break in working out, how did it feel getting back into it? What did you find the hardest? How do you motivate yourself now?