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This is What Happens to Your Body When You Suddenly Stop Working Out

This is What Happens to Your Body When You Suddenly Stop Working Out

Through sweat, tears and endless sacrifices of sweet desserts, you reached your goal weight. You felt fit, fabulous and unstoppable. Then one day, you decided to take the day off from working out because it was only one day; then another and another. Sadly, upon waking several weeks or even months later, you realized that your skinny jeans were so tight you wouldn’t to fit into them even if you sprayed your fanny with Pam.

This is What Happens to Your Body When You Suddenly Stop Working Out

Needless to say, if this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. After working hard to reach weight loss goals, it’s not uncommon to want to take a break. The problem is when the break becomes a prolonged hiatus, the result is weight gain. If you have fallen off the fitness bandwagon, or contemplating doing so, take a look below to see what actually happens when you decide to go MIA.

Case One

You were hitting the gym hard four or more times a week to tone up with a combination of cardio and strength training, but stopped due to time constraints.

Aftermath

The combination of high-intensity cardio and weight lifting is perfect for toning muscles and staying slim. After a month of lifting nothing heavier than a fork, those grocery bags you used to carry effortlessly are now kind of heavy. Oh, and those muscles that were rock hard, now feel a bit soft. You might even notice that you get winded a lot faster than before when taking the steps instead of the elevator.

Simply put, use it or lose it. When you work out on a regular basis and then stop, you are prone to lose the strength you worked so hard to build. Hopping back on the fitness bandwagon will put you on the right track, even if you can’t as much time as you did before. Increasing aerobic exercise throughout your day and weight training at home will help you recover what you’ve lost. Following a low-fat diet also will keep those pesky pounds from creeping up.

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Case Two

You were determined to slim down and rock that bikini, so you hit the gym for seven days and worked out like your life depended on it. Unfortunately, you fizzled out.

Aftermath

Although you can’t see it after one week of training, your body is already changing in a positive way. Your muscles are becoming accustomed to working out, and actually are waiting to do so, when you hear that nightly happy hour calling your name. After not working out for even three days, your body begins to return to a pre-workout state. This is why after a weekend of eating, drinking and enjoying time with friends, your jeans feel a bit snug. When you stop exercising, your muscles fibers become fatigued much faster than if you continued to exercise. Plan on exercising at least three times a week if you can’t give pull off seven. Your thighs will thank you later.

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Case Three

Congratulations you are new parent! It was a long nine months, but your new bundle of joy has finally arrived.

Aftermath

The problem is that while you were waiting for your new addition to your family, you stopped working out and now have weight to lose. When pregnant, many women make the mistake of discontinuing exercise in fear of injuring the baby. This is simply untrue. Although you will need to modify your workouts as you reach different trimesters, you are still able to exercise, and in fact, it’s recommended in order to stay toned during and after pregnancy. Staying active helps you lose the weight faster after giving birth. Finding a form of exercise that you are comfortable as you go through your pregnancy is the key. Stopping exercise for nine months means you will hitting the gym double time when cleared by your doctor.

Case Four

They used to call you a gym rat until you broke your leg. Now, they don’t even remember your name.

Aftermath

When faced with an extended illness or injury, it can seriously impact your fitness level. Since we start to lose muscle strength and fitness levels after missing even three to four days of workouts, missing a prolonged period will set you back as if you never set foot in a gym. Regardless of the reason, once you are feeling fit as a fiddle again, and are cleared by your doctor, gradually start back into your workout routine. Although it might seem like a challenge, your muscles will remember faster than you think.

Regardless of the reason for your absence, restarting an exercise regimen may seem like a daunting task. All you need to do is take things slow, and gradually ease yourself back into the groove.


Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this website and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult with your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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