Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Managing the Return to Fitness Training

Managing the Return to Training
After a Planned or Unplanned Break

Anyone who seeks to maintain a regular routine of exercise will eventually have to deal with some lapse in their training regimen.  Reasons for lapses in fitness training vary from illness or injury to traveling for work or pleasure.  But whatever the reason, it’s good to have a plan to return to regular training and regain an optimal level of physical fitness.

According to Sports Coach at ausport.gov.au, the steps to return to training include increasing frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise sessions.  Begin with increasing the frequency.  If the goal is to exercise every day, days of rest may need to be alternated with days of working out at first, until the desired frequency of exercise sessions is achieved.

Suwanee Martial Arts
Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Martial Arts Cumming Suwanee
After the frequency of training is re-established, the duration of each exercise session can be extended.  When frequency and duration goals are obtained, it’s time to up the intensity of workouts.  Be careful not to increase the intensity too soon as relapse or injury can occur.

How long it takes to regain strength and aerobic conditioning depends on several factors; specifically, fitness level prior to the break, length of time off from training, severity of illness or injury that caused the hiatus.  The loss of strength and aerobic conditioning, a process called deconditioning, is less pronounced the more fit an athlete is, and is more noticeable in younger or less experienced athletes.  Here is a basic guideline: the amount of time it takes to return to a full exercise regimen is similar to the number of days missed through illness. 

If the break in exercise was due to illness, it’s important that the most severe symptoms (fever, nausea, diarrhea) have been absent for at least 24 hours before returning to exercise.  And if the illness required a trip to the doctor and/or medication, check with the physician as to how soon regular exercise can resume.

As with any exercise program, hydration, rest, and nutrition are essential to achieving and maintaining optimal fitness and health.  Exercise in and of itself helps boost the immune system, but include foods that will provide fuel to the process.

WebMD explains that antioxidants are the “vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. …fighting off damage with antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong…”  Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables.  The three major antioxidants to look for are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Prevention.com targets nine foods that boost immunity: yogurt with live and active cultures, oats and barley, garlic, fish, chicken soup, green or black tea, beef, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.

In addition to setting out a specific plan to return to a desired level of physical fitness, getting rest and eating right, it’s important to have a positive attitude.  A good mental state of mind will help to deal with regaining what has been lost.  It may or may not take more time than first thought, but celebrate the small achievements along the way. 

Susie R.
Kickboxing Instructor
Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Martial Arts and Kickboxing in Cumming Suwanee GA
3020 Old Atlanta Rd
Cumming, GA 30041
(678) 513-5436

Susie is an Instructor at the Cumming - Suwanee Location of Choe's HapKiDo Karate.  She teaches fitness kickboxing and Martial Arts.  Choe's HapKiDo of Cumming serves people in the Cumming, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Duluth, Alpharetta and Buford areas of Georgia.




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