We all know the feeling of guilt when we “skip” a few days and don’t go to a gym, but what happens to your body when you stop exercising for a month (or more) and are the changes drastic as we look in our head? Here’s what the doctors say about this question.
1. The heart beats a little different
After 4 days without any aerobic activity, the heart becomes less efficient, so during the next activity may appear shortness of breath. To avoid that, and if you exercise, be sure to bring more activity into everyday tasks – use stairs instead of the elevator, frequently clean the house, and walk more often.
2. Muscles become lazier
Muscle cells generally stored power for 7 to 14 days, after that period they begin to lose the progress that had been made. However, it does not need to concern you very much, because the average person maintain a relatively constant amount of force despite the inactivity of 4 weeks, so once again when you start exercising, you definitely won’t have to start “from zero” – despite, it is quite normal, some weights you have lifted before without a problem, will act significantly more difficult in the beginning.
3. The skills on which you worked before disappear
The unwritten rule is that fitness activities which required the most effort to build them perfectly and to maintain them, are the first to disappear when we make a longer break of exercise, and usually, after 30 days, these differences can be noticed. A longer the brake is, the harder you will return to the old form.
4. Motivation begins to fade
Although in the beginning, the body, may not notice drastic changes from a lack of exercise, but it will definitely affect motivation, which will be harder to recover after a long pause. So, when you return to exercise, start with 70% of what you did before the break, in relation to time and intensity.
To increase motivation insert a new exercise that previously you didn’t do- although probably the muscles significantly will hurt you more and the body will not need more than 2 weeks to re-adjust the entire exercise.
5. The body will desire some kind of movement
The break from workouts is inevitable (increased responsibilities at work or in the family, health problems, etc.), but it does not mean that you should completely become “the laziest person” – it shall be sufficient to reduce the schedule and duration of training for two-thirds and instead of the usual program, insert HIIT (interval training with high intensity).
That way you will not feel a big drop in your peak VO2 (amount of oxygen that the body needs to perform some function) so when you return to regular training, the body will be completely ready for that and will easily adapt the old intensity and time spent on exercising.