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Safely Stepping Back into Exercise

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

As the weather warms up, it is a great time of the year to get back into exercise. The many benefits of exercise are well documented in the literature and include improved energy levels, increased metabolic rate and reduced risk of chronic illnesses.

We appreciate that re-entering or starting exercise can seem daunting, and it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for patients to start exercising after a period of rest. As Physiotherapists, we are dedicated to keeping our patients healthy, whilst mitigating the risk of developing injuries. We have put together a simple guide to step you back into exercise.

1) Find out which types of exercise you enjoy

If you don’t enjoy the exercise, there is a high likelihood that you will not stay consistent. At the bottom of this page, we have linked some of our friendly neighbours in the area which provide great services such as yoga, cross-fit and group walking. Many of these places have introductory offers or are even free to participate in, so we strongly encourage our patients to give the activities a go.

2) Set goals

In order to stay motivated and consistent, try to set some goals. Write these goals down in a diary or calendar and try to follow a SMART Goal format: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time.

For example, I want to be able to complete a minimum of 3 dancing sessions every week for the next 2 months.

3) Start gradually to avoid risk of injury

Especially after a period of rest, your body may be more susceptible to injuries as the demand on your tissues may be higher than the capacity that those tissues can withstand. This can lead to issues such as tendinopathies. Gradually building up your body’s tolerance to exercise is an important part of an injury-free return to activity.

4) Make it part of your weekly routine

Try to make exercise a part of your regular weekly schedule to stay consistent. If your schedule changes week to week, try to pencil in the exercise times into your calendar at the start of each week.

5) Get an exercise buddy

For many people, having an exercise buddy is incredibly helpful in staying consistent and accountable. Find someone with similar interests and get moving together! Many of the incredible groups listed at the bottom of the page help to foster a supportive community for their clients.

6) Don’t beat yourself up!

Try not to be too harsh on yourself if you miss a day or week, instead aim for consistency over a longer period and remember that every little bit of exercise counts towards a healthier you.

7) Address any niggles or injuries early

If there are any injury concerns or your body is not feeling quite right before or since starting exercise, get these concerns seen by a health professional. Evidence shows that dealing with injuries early results in faster and better outcomes. The Movement Workshop Physiotherapy is located in South Melbourne and provides injury assessment and treatment to patients of any activity level.

Group Classes and Exercise Options around The Movement Workshop (South Melbourne)

Clinical Exercise/Pilates/Yoga:

  • The Movement Workshop runs small group Clinical Exercise/Pilates Classes that are targeted to your specific needs

  • GoodLife South Melbourne has both Mat and Reformer Pilates sessions as well as Yoga


Social Sports

Many different social sports are available in the area. This website provides options for netball, basketball, footy, futsal and volleyball.

Cross Fit and Functional Training:

The Movement Workshop is here to support your body through any activity and can provide advice and education about injury prevention and management. Seek help from our Physiotherapists if you have any questions.

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