After having laid off a year, getting back into it at the beginning of my sixth decade of life has not been as smooth as I remember it being when I was a much younger man.
The feel of the workout is different. The recovery, much slower. The muscle soreness that comes from working out known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) even feels different.
While some things may feel new, there are things that are very familiar. That´s because there is memory stored in your body. There is much that we can talk about in regard to your bodies capacity to store memories, but that would take way too long and is not the purpose of this post. If you are interested in learning more about how your body stores memory, please read, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk.
What I want to focus on is muscle memory. Your body remembers your previous state of fitness and as a result, responds in ways that speed up the process of regaining strength and muscle as you return to the habit of training.
I have some good news for you. The journey back is not as difficult as it may seem. It doesn’t mean it won´t be challenging. It just means that you will probably see gains quicker than if you were just starting never having done any training in the past.
I´d like to share some tips that I hope will help you as you recommit to making your health and wellness a priority:
Start with gratitude: My body is responding and I´m grateful for that. I am amazed at the human body in general, but even more so at my body, and I´m grateful for what it does every day. I focus more on what it is capable of doing in the present than what it used to do. No comparison. Just gratitude for what is.
Be patient: There is a struggle to rush the process because your memory compares where you are to where you´ve been. I ´ve learned to honor my body through the process. I have to be patient and careful to avoid injury and give my body the best possible chance of development.
Be committed to the plan: I´m committed to doing the work. To showing up on the assigned days and to follow the program I´ve chosen that is designed to help me achieve my fitness goals. The journey back needs to be intentional and for that, a well-designed process is needed.
Be accountable: I am super blessed in that I have an incredible workout partner who is also my life partner. I hold myself accountable to her and that makes it easier to show up consistently. So, find a good training partner my friend. One that will hold you to account and push you to be your best in every way.
I´d like for you to share your workout pics so that others may be inspired by you. Let´s encourage one another towards happier healthier versions of ourselves.
Contact me for more information about ways to get back into the habit of training and building the body that you desire, at any age.
Here´s to discovering a happier healthier you!