So the best part of the year is over. Let me guess, you over indulged and allowed yourself to sink into a deep pit of gluttony over Christmas and New Year? And with the holidays, you didn’t think about exercising once, or heading to the gym, right? Well, you deserved it. It’s been a big year. Now you’re thinking about hitting the gym again…pounding the pavement but are you struggling to find the motivation? Is your body screaming “no”? Well, if you’re looking for a reason to get back on track, this is the blog post for you. We’re going to have a look at what happens to your body when a regular exerciser stops exercising.
1. Reduced muscle and muscle strength
Your body starts to lose muscle mass and strength when you stop working out for an extended period of time, and if your body is accustomed to regular training. This starts to happen after about 6 weeks of stopping exercising.
2. Weight gain
You may start to notice an increase in body fat and therefore you are at a greater risk of weight gain, especially if you don’t make changes in your diet after quitting your workout sessions. Since you are no longer pushing your body to its limits, your muscles might begin to lose mass, shrink and leave more room for fat build up. Before you freak out and go run a marathon, you can balance the reduced or complete halt of exercising by reducing your calorie intake to prevent weight gain.
3. Decreased athletic performance
After quitting your routine workout, you will slowly and gradually lose your strength, power and endurance which are the three most important components of fitness. Although the effects of detraining may take up to 6 weeks to rear its ugly head, you may start to become unfit after just 2 weeks.
4. Increased blood pressure
Since working out is known to lower ones blood pressure, it comes as no surprise that stopping your regular workout may increase your blood pressure. Blood pressure will increase to pre-training level just after 2 weeks of ceasing workout. Although it’s possible to manage your blood pressure levels by managing stress, having a healthy body weight, avoiding tobacco products and limiting your alcohol consumption.
5. Loss cardio conditioning
Plyometric, anaerobic, and aerobic exercises condition your lungs and heart. After becoming a couch potato, your lungs and heart will detrain to a more sedative condition and you might begin to notice some differences in your ability to climb stairs, run or chase children around. The effects of detraining intensify as you begin to accumulate more fat.
6. Double the work to get back that toned body
If nothing else convinces you, this definitely will get you to your 7am karate class. Muscle strength and fitness level take double the amount of time that you took off in order to return to what it actually was before!
If you don’t want to have wasted all the time getting your bod beach ready, you should probably get back into it. ASAP.
Image from Patrick Hendry @ StockSnap.io