4 Keys for Getting Back to Fitness After a Setback

I felt like I was standing still. Not because of choice, but because of change. For most of my life, I had been active. Sports in high school, 10K’s in my 20’s, a marathon at 33, aerobics instructor, avid hiker, and a gym membership even with five kids. I was always in pretty decent shape. Until a whole bunch of life hit.

That kind of thing happens as we get older. Life takes turns that we didn’t plan for. How do we regroup when any number of possible setbacks interrupt our lives?

Sometimes we just have to start over. But that can be hard when we are not really a beginner. “But I used to…” Those words can sabotage us; they certainly tried to get me. I have had to embrace the fact that I am a beginner, again. I finally bought a program called Power Body Program: Beginner. I found these adjustments helped get me started again.


Fitness begins in the mind because fitness is not just exercise. It’s a general state of well-being and affects every part of our lives. Although getting older is inevitable, there is much we can do to enhance our overall health. We begin by acknowledging that our mind has more of an effect on our bodies than time.

We have to be honest about where we’re at. I had to acknowledge that I wasn’t going back to where I was. My goal became to get in the best shape I could today. I want to do the big and little things of everyday life: hike with my family, paint the guest room, yank weeds out of the garden, get the dogfood home. And just generally feel good every day. 

We need the details. It could be walking a number of steps, or gaining a certain amount of muscle, or stretching for a specified amount of time. It doesn’t matter where we start. We start where we are and go from there.


We determine realistically what works for us. What days and times work for us? We don’t let the day order our commitment. We make our commitment order the day.

When we have setbacks, it is easy to settle for a new reality. And we may have to do so for a short time. But we have to remember that what we think determines our reality more than circumstances. I hate that I had to get a “beginner” program after being on the other end for so long. But i’d rather be a beginner than a settler.

Cheers to being a beginner. Even if it’s beginning again.

8 thoughts on “4 Keys for Getting Back to Fitness After a Setback

    1. Thank you Eileen! It really helps knowing others feel the same way! Don’t tell anyone, but I was totally sore after the first couple days of my “beginner” workout 🤦🏼‍♀️


  1. They say that when getting into shape for the first time, or even getting back into shape, it’s ‘easier’ if you’ve been active before your big setback. The problem is the mind remembers and wants to do everything it did before! What you write here is so encouraging. Our pesky habitual mind can also be our beginner’s mind and form new habits. When you have to recruit strength from places you never knew you had, any little success is all that much sweeter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Mary Jo, I love what you said! Recruiting strength from places you never knew you had…♥️this is so true and I love being surprised by that strength. Thank you for reading and sharing thoughts. Really appreciate it🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Life caught up with me in my mid twenties when I suffered a back injury training for the london marathon. I then proceed to run through it which made it much worse. It’s better now but it still niggles. Sitting for long periods doesn’t help. It’s great advice Kathy. I’d add that habit formation is more important than any goal. I have two rules. 5 mins counts. Daily-ish. The important thing is not to beat yourself up when you miss a workout. Judgement helps no-one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AP, you are so right. Keeping consistent even for those “5 minutes counts” times is so important. And I have been really focusing on not judging. So thank you for your insight there. We all have setbacks so learning how to navigate those seasons is always helpful. I appreciate that you took time to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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