Many people consider fitness time their ‘me time’. A time where you feel grounded, focused and ultimately, good. So, it comes as no surprise that getting sick or injured can feel like a major fitness setback.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with being setback from your fitness regime, whether it be from you being ill, injured or just taking some time away.

  1. You are not lazy and it won’t be forever

The golden rule always is you must do what’s best for your health & body – and sometimes, as much as we don’t want to hear it, rest is best.

If you don’t allow yourself the chance to heal properly, you may find that your initial setback will keep extending. Get your mindset right and don’t be hard on yourself – keep telling yourself; this is what I need and I am going to do what I need to to get better.


  1. Do what you can

Here is the thing; there is always some sort of exercise you can do. Do what you can, and be satisfied that you showed up. Think flexibility and mobility- stretch or take a slow walk. Even if the intensity is severely reduced for months at a time, you can make a much smoother re-entry for yourself by doing the things that you are safely able to.


  1. Focus on your eating habits

While tough workouts are suspended, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re eating healthily. It’s vital for your healing, and eating properly while you’re resting from exercise can help you avoid picking up any unnecessary weight, which in-turn, will make your return a lot more seamless.


  1. Find a new hobby while you rest

With some extra time on your hands, you can choose something else you enjoy or find a new eventful way to challenge yourself.  Use the extra hours you have to binge watch some series, read a few books, try some new recipes or even learn a new language.


  1. Jump in – but do so slowly and carefully

When you start working out after taking a break, do not assume anything about your body or the capabilities thereof. Be open and listen to the messages your body is sending you. Start slowly, modify your usual fitness routine, and increase the pace gradually. Before you know it, you will be back to where you were before the resting period, or even stronger.


  1. Do not let negative thoughts taint your return to the gym

This tip was left last for a reason as it might as well be the most important tip on this list. Do not beat yourself up for missing workouts. Don’t be hard on yourself and your body for not being in the same shape after taking a rest. Your pace and your body will inevitably be a bit behind in terms of fitness stamina, the important bit is to know it’s temporary. Do not beat yourself up for not being able to do an exercise you were able to a few months ago. Dust yourself off and build yourself back up, if you have done it once – you can do it again.


As this list emphasises, it can be relatively difficult to take time off from an exercise routine. It feels good to push and improve yourself, and exercise is a great way to manage life stress, but sometimes, rest is what we need the most.