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Go4Life: Starting to Exercise Again after a Break from the National Institute on Aging

Vacation? Flu? Out-of-town guests? Many things can interrupt your physical activity routine, but you can start again and be successful. Here are a few ideas to help.

Senior man wearing swimming goggles with a towel around his neck

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just try to get back to your activities as soon as possible.
  • Think about the reasons you started exercising and how much you’ve already accomplished.
  • Start again at a comfortable level, and gradually build back up.
  • Try an activity you’ve never done before.
  • Believe in yourself!

Sometimes the reason you stop exercising is temporary, and at other times it’s permanent. Here are some ways to manage these breaks.

Temporary Interruptions:

  • When you’re on vacation, get out and see the sights on foot or visit the hotel fitness center.
  • Caring for an ill spouse can understandably interrupt your exercise routine. Ask a friend to help out for a while so you can go for a walk.

Permanent Interruptions:

  • If your exercise buddy moves away, sign up for an exercise class at the senior center. This is a great way to meet other active people.
  • Hip surgery can affect the types of exercise that you do.
  • Talk to your doctor about the best activities for you to do.

Quick Tip

Be flexible and creative. If your grandchildren come for a visit, reschedule your exercise for their nap time, or better yet take them with you on a walk.

NIA Tip Sheet: