I am joining a gym after a break. What should I keep in mind or what precautions should I take? Bhaskar Hegde, Mangalore I’m glad you have decided to go back to your fitness routine! This time, stay committed! Fitness cannot be stored. Once you stop training, the fitness benefits you accrued, start diminishing. The longer the break, the greater the likelihood of your body getting detrained and going back to its pre-exercise state. The important thing to keep in mind is, to start from the basics. The good news is that there will be a ‘muscle memory’ and the neural adaptations will kick in a lot faster this time round. Start gradually, as would any beginner. Learn to master the mechanics of the movement and work towards controlling moving just your body weight. Do not be in any tearing hurry to progress! Would always recommend getting a medical clearance to exercise before re-commencing a fitness regimen. Exercising under the supervision of trained and certified trainers would be highly recommended. Include as many varied components into your routine - from cardiovascular endurance, to muscular endurance and strength, balance and coordination, and flexibility and mobility training. Whatever be the components you are addressing, start at a level that is appropriate for your current fitness level and gradually progress from there. Be consistent with your workouts and remember, a balanced nutrition plan, adequate rest, sleep and recovery are all part of a holistic fitness regimen.