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Getting Back on Track

By Jane Riley 

Have you noticed that your fitness level has decreased over the past month or so?  You can halt the dreaded “de-training effect” that ensues even after just two weeks of missing your regular workouts.

Skipping a few days of workouts is sometimes a good thing, just to give your body a little rest. However, because your aerobic capacity is one of the first aspects of fitness to show a decline in performance, the heart’s lessened ability to pump blood effectively is noticeable even after 10-12 days of inactivity. Strength is more resistant to the de-training effect, but after a month, the muscles start to atrophy and become marbled in fat. Muscle detraining will depend on your age, your sex and your starting muscle mass. Here’s how to strategically get back into your fitness routine if you have opted to “wait until the Fitness Center opens again.”

The three principle components of any strategic exercise program are flexibility, cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. Begin with flexibility exercises, add in cardio exercises and slowly build your strength exercise capacity back up. It is always important to start with an extended warm-up and cool-down, to prepare your body for work and to return your body to pre-work status, but especially so after a time of inactivity.

Don’t overdo it. If you were exercising rigorously earlier this year and have let that go, you will need to retrace your steps before you can go full-on again. A low intensity workout for the first few workouts is important to re-introduce your body to activity. After a week, you can begin to ramp up your intensity as long as you are still maintaining good form in your exercises. Your body responds to consistency over time, so your results will come back much faster if you maintain a regular pattern and frequency of exercise. Rest days are important to schedule, as well. You may be tempted to make up for lost time, but your body needs at least one day a week to rest, repair and recuperate. 

It can be intimidating to get back into shape after time off. This is an opportunity for careful re-entry into your fitness routine, using progression and building slowly back up to your prior level of fitness. Your time away from fitness likely involved a lot of sitting (be honest!), which causes weakness in the posterior kinetic chain. The muscles of the posterior chain are important in everyday activities, as well as keeping your spine erect when you are sitting. It is imperative that you work the core, and activate the muscles through your glutes and hamstrings. We have many classes that will help you work this region. You might try Sets and Reps, Pilates or Yoga as you ease your way back into shape, followed by our seasonal classes and Aquafit. You might also consider personal training as you come back to the Fitness Center.

So, let’s get started! The Fitness Center is open, you can view the Group Exercise Calendar on The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch website or schedule a personal trainer for one-on-one sessions.

Kris Cracknell, Pilates Instructor, 210.860.7322

Kelly Vizzone, Yoga Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor, 210.442.9061

Natalie Sales, Group Exercise Instructor, 956.455.3145

Michael Reyes, Personal Trainer, 210.392.3519

Mike Miller, Personal Trainer, 573.201.5381

Kevin Durio, Personal Trainer, 214.232.8603

Kelsey Grudle is the Recreation Coordinator at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. She can be reached kgrudle@cordilleraranch.com or 830.446.2711.