Exercise: How to Stay Active

Frequently Asked Questions

7. When there are temporary breaks in my exercise schedule, how can I get back on track?

Life Happens. Sometimes ordinary events can temporarily interrupt your exercise schedule and make it hard to stick with your activities. Getting older can mean more time for trips to see children and grandchildren or vacations away from home. Sometimes the flu will keep you out of action for a short time or bad weather or a change in your daily routine can hinder your movement.

(Watch the video to hear a tip on re-starting an exercise program safely after a break. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize that there will be times when you won’t want to exercise, or it feels too hard. You are not alone; everyone has those feelings. Just try to get back to your activities as soon as possible. The sooner you resume some sort of activity, the better you’ll feel, and the easier it will be to get back into your routine.

Remember your goals. During these times, it's important to remember the reasons you started exercising and the goals you created for yourself. You may want to ask family and friends to help you get back on track or talk with your trainer or doctor to get the boost you need to start again. The sooner you resume some sort of activity, the better you'll feel and the easier it will be to get back into your routine. Feel confident that even if your activity is interrupted, you can start again and be successful.

Here are tips to help you stay active during temporary breaks or start again if you've had to stop:

  • Be flexible. When your grandchildren come for a visit, reschedule your exercise during their nap time, or take them with you for a walk.
  • If you go on vacation, check out the facilities where you'll be staying and bring along your exercise clothes and equipment (resistance band, bathing suit, or walking shoes).
  • If you're sick with the flu, check with your doctor and wait until you feel better before starting your activity again. Gradually build up to your previous levels.
  • If you can't go outdoors because of bad weather, try an exercise video, jog in place, dance around the house, or walk up and down the stairs a few extra times.

Start again at a comfortable level. If you haven't exercised for several weeks, make sure you start back at a comfortable level, and then gradually build back up. With a little time, you'll be back on track.