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There Are No Expiration Dates: 7 Ways to Ease Back Into Fitness

It’s an FBG blog takeover! For Fit Bottomed Dudes’ Week each of the FBG’s husbands are taking over his wife’s blog for a post on, well, anything they’d like. Today, Mark Arana (gym manager and trainer, NASM-certified) takes over Tish’s blog to drive home the idea that there are no expiration dates when it comes to fitness resolutions. If you’re looking to start, Mark’s got the tips to help you see it through!


Attention to all those men who intended to get fit on January 1: It’s not too late to get started!

Yes, I know March Madness got in the way of your New Year’s resolutions, and I’m sure you burned a few calories from all the upsets and down-to-the wire games. BUT thankfully there’s no date on getting your health back in order.

Here’s a quick story from this guy that I met at Jamba Juice named Magic Johnson: My wife, FBG Tish, told Magic that she just got done working out from my boot camp. He looked up and with his big famous smile and gave her a high-five. The one thing that I’ll remember from this conversation is that he said it’s never too late and there’s no age limit to getting fit. After he retired from playing, he admitted that he let himself go and just recently within the last couple of years, got back to the gym and started working out again with a trainer and also taking Tae Bo classes. Yes, Magic does Tae Bo!

Anyhow, his words are proof that you can start at any time, even if it’s not on January 1.

As men, especially those who were once athletic, we tend to feed our ego and think we’ll just pick up where we left off.  Now if it’s been over a year or more, picking up from where you left off  will most likely burn you out after a few weeks. As a trainer and a manager of a fitness center, I’ve seen this happen way too many times. The smart way to do it is to ease into a program. Introducing your body back to a routine will be your first priority. Here are seven surefire ways to start your program.

7 Ways to Ease Back Into Fitness

1. Pick workouts that you’ll enjoy. It will make it much easier to stick with the program. Mix up your activities so that you can avoid being bored or burned out from your workouts.

2. Start off easy and go slow. Begin with small amounts of low-intensity exercise. For example, an inactive person could start by walking at a regular pace for 10 minutes twice a day, five days per week. Each week, slowly increase the amount of time and intensity as you get more comfortable.

3. Increase the intensity. Use the Perceived Exertion Scale — a zero to 10 scale that rates the intensity of your activity (0=very light, 10=max effort intensity). Once you can easily complete low-intensity activity (anything below a 5), you are ready to increase your effort to moderate and then vigorous.

  • Moderate-intensity activity, rates 5 or 6. You can talk comfortably but not sing. Examples: brisk walking, biking less than 10 miles/hour, gardening, ballroom dancing.
  • Vigorous-intensity activity, rates 7 or 8. You can only speak a few words before taking a breath. Examples: race walking, jogging, running, biking 10 miles/hour or faster, tennis, heavy gardening, swimming laps.

4. Curls for the girls. Well, not really, but adding resistance or weight training will help strengthen muscles, build sturdy bones and increase your metabolism. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Strengthen all major muscle groups twice a week (legs, back, chest, core and shoulders). This is in addition to the aerobic activity goal.
  • Perform eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Do multiple sets to build more strength.

5. Plan ahead. At the start of each week, look at your schedule and make sure to fit in the best time for your workout.

6. Keep track of your activity on a calendar or activity log. It is motivating to see your progress as you increase the frequency, intensity and amount of time spent doing physical activity.

7. Forget the all-or-nothing approach. It’s perfectly okay if you can’t meet your weekly goal for working out; doing something is always better than nothing.

So are you guys ready? Let’s tear up those March Madness brackets and do something that will really count: work towards your health!  —Mark Arana 

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