It’s a busy world where a lot of things can have a higher priority than working out, even though keeping a healthy lifestyle is very important. You probably got injured or realized that you have too many things to do in a day besides exercising. So you may have decided to let go of your workout routine for a while. Or perhaps you decided cheat by taking a break from exercising during the holidays, that you ate and drank without restrictions. But do you know how this affects you? Below are some unexpected things that happen when you abandon your workout routine
1. You lose power faster than you lose strength
Power refers to your strength over a period of time and studies have shown that it fades faster than your strength at any given time. A change in the nerve’s impulses can cause a drop in strength, after which muscle wasting occurs, leading to protein breakdown. You will later realize that you can’t quickly dash across the street to make a light like you used to, or lift a heavy weight as quick as you would have in the past.
2. Flexibility loss
Exercising regularly makes you flexible, and taking some time off from these exercises will make you lose your flexibility faster than you think. Michele Olson, a professor of exercise at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, says “After a bout of flexibility exercise, the muscles and tendons begin to retract to their typical resting length — particularly if you sit during your commute regularly and/or sit at a desk at your job”. Within three days after abandoning your workout routine, you are very likely to notice a loss of flexibility. How much worse does it get when you skip exercising it for a week or two? Or months?
3. Cardiovascular fitness starts to tank after one week
Cardiovascular or aerobic fitness is the ability of the body to transport and utilize oxygen effectively throughout the body. After a week or two of inactivity of the muscles, aerobic fitness is reduced and the heart isn’t able to function as it used to when you were still active.
4. Strength starts to diminish after two weeks
This especially affects those who quit strength training and their muscles aren’t challenged as usual, there will be noticeable changes in a few days after quitting. Little by little, you will lose muscle protein, which should have been building your muscle fiber. After two weeks, there is already a great loss and strength starts to diminish.
Different things can make you abandon your workout routine for a while, but it is important that you do not prolong it for too long. If it is an injury, treat it as soon as you can. On the other hand, if it is a lack of time, you can always reschedule your plans and spare about 15-30 minutes daily to keep up with your workout.
image courtesy of: onnit.com.