back in the fitness game {+ a running/strength workout)

This post is sponsored by Zappos.

Hi friends! How was you? Hope you’re enjoying the week, and that my friends who were affected by Hurricane and tropical storm Irma are safe and recovering from the impact. This week I’ve spent a lot of extra time focusing on the good things, especially since there’s so much going on right now. 

An exciting development: I was cleared to lift weights again! I’ve been patiently waiting to get the “ok” from my doc following my recent surgery, and I was PUMPED when he told me I could start lifting weights again. (I have to wait a few more weeks before push-ups and core work, which I figured would be the case. Slow and steady!)

The past almost-eight weeks, I’ve been working on safely getting back into the fitness game, starting with short easy walks and progressing from there.


My personal stages of getting back in the fitness game following an injury or hiatus (as always, talk with a doctor to set up a unique plan for you!):

-Start to increase daily activity levels. In my case, this went from spending my entire day in bed, to taking more walks around the house. After that, I started making meals and snacks, spending more time up and about, and then transitioned to errands, chores, and full-up cooking. This process took about a week following my first recovery week, with some steps forward when I felt great, to steps back + more rest when I needed it. 

-Add in cardio. At first, this was short (1 block!) and slow walks around the neighborhood.

-Add in duration. I was able to carefully increase my walking duration from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. 

-Add in speed. I’ve been working on increasing my speed back to my *normal* treadmill walking speed. My usual is 4.0-4.2 and I’m at about a 3.5 right now. I’ve also been able to add in some jogging intervals and it feels SO good to move my legs again.

jogging post-surgery

-Add in weights. This is what I’ve been able to add in this week! It’s important to remember that if you haven’t strength trained in a while, muscle memory will kick in, and this is a beautiful thing. However, you don’t want to jump in using the same heavy weights you did pre-hiatus. Start with body weight so you get used to the movement and muscle groups you need to use, and add in light weights from here. When I did my first strength training workout post-surgery, I did bodyweight exercises and held 8-10-lb dumbbells (when I’d usually use 15-20) to do some upper body work.

-Add in impact. I’m really looking forward to adding in some HIIT drills once I feel comfortably back in the strength and cardio routine, and also get back to running.

The fall air always gives me an itch to run, and I’m looking forward to some weekend longer runs on the horizon.

Something that always puts a little pep in my step: new fitness gear. My friends at Zappos kindly sent me some new Brooks gear to try out, and I’ve been wearing my new Brooks Revels as I get back into my workout routine. I’ve been a huge fan of Zappos for years, especially since they ship quickly -I received these particular items in two days- and they have a 365-day return policy. I was excited to see their impressive collection of Brooks shoes and activewear since it’s one of my favorite fitness brands.

Brooks running shoes and other workout gear

My new Brooks Revels are so comfortable and I love the gray color! They’re supportive without feeling clunky, and have a unique texture to them. The texture doesn’t make them feel thick and scratchy, but instead, they also can be worn more like comfy street shoes. 

Brooks running gear

They’ve been awesome for cardio and strength; I can’t wait to test them out on some runs!

tying up my Brooks

They also sent me these super Chaser Shorts and Distance Short Sleeve top.

quad stretch

(The top is lightweight and breathable for sweaty workouts, and the shorts have a built-in liner.)

Brooks running shirt

I also received this Distance Tank (love the pink!) and these supportive Greenlight capris. I’ve been wearing both of these to teach barre. The shirt is a little longer in the same light fabric, and the capris aren’t see-through (<— importante).

For today, I wanted to share a quick cardio + strength workout. Workouts like this are perfect because you can do them inside on the treadmill, or outside in the fresh air. All you need is a space to walk or run, some awesome music, and your own bodyweight. 

Here’s the workout if you’d like to try it out:

Track and strength workout! All you need is your own bodyweight for this one. Hit the track and get in an awesome sweat.

So, tell me friends: when was the last time you took a hiatus from your fitness game? What helped you get back in the swing of things?

Favorite workout gear right now?



Photos by Lindsay Colson

Post Navigation:


  1. Cassie on September 13, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I’m so glad to read that you’re getting back on your feet. You also look great in these pictures. I bet you’re so relieved to be chasing those sweet girls of yours again.

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 8:31 am

      thank you so much, friend! YES. it feels so great to be back in the swing of life again 🙂

  2. Tiffany on September 13, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Whooooosh! You go, girl. Love all the mini-milestones during recovery; served as a great reminder that slow and steady really does win the race. I’m coming off of a one-week back injury from hitting it too hard with weight on my first day back. Definitely will work with your tips! Thanks for sharing. Sending lots of love xx

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 8:30 am

      hope you’re feeling better, soon! <3

  3. Christina @ on September 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

    I love those shorts, such a cute color!

  4. Erin on September 13, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I 100% agree that new fitness gear is the way to motivate me. Every race I run I have to get a new outfit because I really do run faster. Even though you’re not supposed to wear new clothes on Race Day…I always do. I’m glad you’re feeling better!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 8:30 am

      thanks, girl! and i totally agree! new clothes always make me run faster 🙂

  5. Patricia @Sweet and Strong on September 13, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Love these outfits! And I usually try to take a break from workouts while on vacation and just enjoy walking on the beach. It’s definitely hard to get back into things though upon returning even just from a vacation so this is a great plan!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 8:29 am

      yes! vacation is such a great time to focus on enjoying the sights instead of the gym 🙂

  6. Christie Hawkes on September 13, 2017 at 8:07 am

    First of all, I’m glad you’re feeling better. There’s nothing like a forced rest to make us appreciate our bodies and the ability to move. I, too, love Zappos! They have a great selection and reasonable prices. Of course, the free shipping and returns are wonderful. But the thing that really impresses me is the incredible customer service. Zappos does it right.

    It’s been a long time since I took a hiatus from working out. Knock on wood — I won’t have to any time soon. Good luck with your recovery. May you be well! May you be happy!


    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 8:29 am

      so true! forced rest always makes me appreciate the ability to move and sweat so much more 🙂
      thank you so much! <3

  7. Kelsey Graf on September 13, 2017 at 9:34 am

    So happy for you as you get back into the swing of things! Coming back after a hiatus always feels soooo good.

    At 39w2d pregnant, I feel like I am CURRENTLY in a hiatus, and will be for the next number of weeks 🙂 I’ve been focusing on mostly just going for walks (drop baby, drop) every night, but it feels strange not to be going to classes (I put ClassPass on hold until post-baby). Then again, I feel so large and in charge that I feel like I’d have to modify every single move which would probably just make things a bit more stressful.

    Those clothes make me want to get back into it with some fun gear though! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      i can’t believe you’re getting so close! so so excited for you <3
      and i feel ya on the end of pregnancy. walking was PLENTY, thankyouverymuch.

  8. Emily on September 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

    This topic has been on my mind so much lately! I’m due next week with our third kiddo & this time around, I just haven’t felt up to being as active. Sometimes long walks are really all I’ve got in me and I struggle with feeling like that’s not enough or I *should* being doing more. I’m already thinking about the road back to feeling strong and energized (itching to get there!) & this post was just a really good reminder to listen to your body – and let whatever feels good that day be enough. It’s a work in progress for me! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      i totally know what you mean. it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough, when in reality, you’re doing what’s just right, for right then. hope you continue to feel great and sending you good vibes for the big day :)x

  9. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups on September 13, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Love those shoes! I’m glad you are feeling good and getting back to it.

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      thank you, friend. hope you’re enjoying the week

  10. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 13, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Glad to hear you’re getting back in the fitness game. It’s so easy to jump in too fast after you’ve been off. Cute clothes are always a good way to motivate yourself to start too!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      thank you, friend! and yes, cute new fitness clothes always do the trick 🙂

  11. Katie on September 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I was dealing with adrenal fatigue and had to take a pretty significant hiatus for over a year with mostly yoga and walking for my fitness. I would try to add a short run or super light strength workout but they could really only be once a week, if that. This past year, I have finally been able to pick things back up again and it’s felt SO good to get back to it and back to me!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      so so happy to hear. i hope you continue to feel better and better <3

  12. Jacki on September 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Would the Revels be good for workouts like Bodypump, Grit, etc.? I have a VERY worn out pair of Nikes that I wear for those type of workouts, and a different kind of Brooks I wear strictly for running. I’m in the market for a new cross training shoe. Glad you’re healing and back to working out!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      yes, they totally would!! i’ve been wearing them for everything and love them 🙂

  13. Megan on September 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I’m curious if you have any thoughts for post c-section recovery. Does you PBB plan work for getting back into fitness post c-section? I am scheduled for one next week and want to recover in a safe way!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      hi! i’m so excited for you <3 yes, it does have tips for c-section recovery. in general, even if the doctor says you're ready earlier, i would wait at least 8 weeks before really working out (just walking before then if you feel good). don't be afraid to modify! any exercises you can do on your stomach, you can do on hands and knees instead. also, roll to your side and use your hands to push yourself up when you're getting out of bed 🙂 (so you don't do any sit-up type motions)

  14. Sassy on September 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Good work

  15. Karen on September 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Can’t wait to hear how you feel after weights and which weights you’re gonna do! I’m so worried about how the incision will feel, so let us know! (Mini tummy tuck with muscle repair and lips in November)

    • Karen on September 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Lipo not lips LOL

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      tomorrow i’ll have up an entire post about recovery and the things i found helpful. i’m excited for you! the muscle repair hurts the worst- i hardly noticed the incision pain. with a mini, i heard recovery time is much easier. i wish i could have done a mini, but i had loose skin above my belly button, too. you’ll do awesome <3

  16. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on September 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Gina! I love all of this Brooks stuff! And sounds like you’re approaching getting back into fitness a smart way — you’re no stranger to that over the last couple of years. I haven’t taken a ton of time off recently, but of course, am about to do that with the babe!

  17. Amina on September 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    So awesome you’re lifting again! I’ve ordered some new workout stuff from fabletics and gap and can not wait to workout again. Thanks for sharing your recovery journey with us!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      yay for new workout gear 🙂 hope you’re back in the swing of things soon, too! xoxo

  18. Elizabeth on September 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Gina, I think you look so great! I actually think with a smaller chest you look even tinier overall!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      thank you so much! i feel so light and freeeeeee without them 🙂

  19. Lindsey | This Miss Cooks on September 13, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Around this time last year I had to recover from a surgery as well, and it was tough to not rush too quickly into things! In the long run it was totally worth it of course, and my running was amazing after taking a few weeks to really rest. I even ran my first half marathon a few months later!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      it’s usually so hard for me, but this time my body was like, “nope. i can’t and don’t want to do anything.” 😉
      i’m itching to run another half!

  20. Sara S on September 13, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I love your approach to getting back in the swing of things! It’s tempting to try to jump right back in but its so worth it to take things slow. You look amazing!

    My last hiatus actually began while pregnant with my 3rd last year. At 20 weeks I was put on modified bedrest and remained until my scheduled section in February. I was able to delivered a perfect baby girl (albeit a couple weeks early) so I’m just over 6 months postpartum. Once I was cleared to workout I took it sloooowww. It feels great now to be back at it though! Although, a full nights sleep would make the morning workouts a little better! 😉

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      so happy to hear that everything went well for you. bedrest must have been so hard with 2 other little ones running around. #supermom
      happy to hear you’re back into it and feeling good. and yes, a full night’s sleep makes the mornings a little better on the rare miracle it happens haha

  21. Libby from Nearly All Things on September 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    A few years ago I had laser ablation for vericose veins after my third child. I had to take a break from running and weights for 6 weeks. I walked a lot during my recovery. It was. Ice to take a forced break. I realized I could keep the weight off by walking and eating healthy. I really appreciated getting back to running and weights but I also learned that I could ease up on intensity and still be okay. Glad you are on the mend

  22. Mark Williams on September 19, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I don’t even know what I would do if I wasn’t able to go to the gym! Glad you were finally able to get back at it 🙂

  23. Mia on October 19, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Your pink tank is so pretty! Personally I’m now addicted by almost everything Nike puts out aha!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.