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What will happen when you stop working out

What will happen when you stop working out

A good training program can build you up for a healthy lifestyle ahead, but derailing off the workout path can have the opposite effect, almost immediately; this is called “detraining” and it can mess you up in more ways than you can imagine.


Here is what happens when you give up working out and how long it takes to get things going right again……


Blood Pressure Rises


This effect is almost instant. You blood pressure is higher on your workout day than it is on the days that you don’t. After 2 weeks, your blood vessels adapt to the slower flow of a sedentary lifestyle. According to a recent study, this will up your reading by a couple of notches. Within a month, your arteries and veins will stiffen sending your blood pressure back to where it was before you started even training.

How would you reverse it? This whole scenario works backwards if you started working out again…. Your blood pressure drops same day and over the next week, your blood vessels will start functioning more efficiently. After a month or two, the stress from your heart rate elevating workouts will make your vasculature more flexible, causing lasting pressure lowering effects.


Blood Sugar Spikes

Usually your blood sugar rises after you eat but goes back down as your muscles and other tissues use up the sugar they need for energy. But after 5 days of kicking back, your post meal sugar levels remain elevated. If you stay sedentary, your sugar levels will continue to creep upward and put you at a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes.

How would you reverse this? 1 week of exercise dramatically drops post meal blood sugar levels, even in people who already have type-2 diabetes.


Fatigue Fast


With 2 weeks of avoiding exercise, your VO2 max (measure of fitness that assesses how much oxygen your working muscles can use) decreases by as much as 20% (estimated 10% per week). One of the reasons why this might happen is that you lose mitochondria; which are found in your muscle cells & convert oxygen into energy. A study found that 2 weeks of immobilization decreases muscle mitochondrial content by almost the same amount of 6 weeks of endurance training would increase it!

How can you reverse this? You can rebuild the mitochondria but it will take you longer than it did to lose them. This is likely because even when you workout, you only do it for a portion of the day; being sedentary is done for 24 hours…. The good news is that it is never too late to restart your exercise habit. A study showed that older men gained fitness almost as easily as men 45 years their junior.

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Muscles Wither


Strength lasts longer than endurance, but it depends on how inactive you have been. Your quads and biceps may start to shrink nearly right away. A study found that after 2 weeks of complete rest, muscle mass declines significantly. To add to this, some muscle fibres actually convert from fast-twitch type IIA to more explosive but faster-fatiguing type IIx, hampering your ability to sustain high intensity movements.

How to reverse it? Again, the rebuild will take longer than the tear down. In regards to the fast twitch fibres, around 10 weeks of 3 weekly strength training sessions increased the total volume of fast-twitch fibres by 22%, as well as the ratio of type IIA to type IIx, reported in a study.


 Plump up


Within just a weeks’ time, your muscles will lose some of their fat burning potential and your metabolism slows. A study found that a 5 week exercise break boosted fat mass by 12%.

How would you reverse this? Double the length of your break, and this will be the time it may take you to return to your previous level of lean. If you managed to keep to keep at least one day of exercise during your break, you will have maintained some level of fitness and find that you will regain your old body a bit faster.



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 Your Brain Suffers

After 2 weeks of inactivity, regular exercisers become grumpy and tired, effects concentration.

Reverse it….. Exercise provides an instant mood lift, even in people suffering from depression. Regular, moderate movement can also help your memory. There is also evidence that suggest that the fitter you were before you took a break, the faster you will regain your brain.

There you have it, 6 good reasons not to skip your workouts!


By Manuella Myburgh

Categories: Uncategorized

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