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How Long Does It Take To Lose Your Fitness?

How Long Does It Take To Lose Your Fitness?

How Long Does It Take To Lose Your Fitness?

We’ve all been there – come home from a long day at work and not in the mood to go to the gym, and then all of a sudden one day turns into three days and three days turns into a week. Sometimes we’re pushed for time to get a workout in (which is totally OK) and we end up skipping a few sessions. But how long does it take for us to lose our fitness?

Many factors impact the rate at which you lose your fitness from skipping a few gym sessions; these include age, fitness level, what training you do (strength or cardio), and how often you train. It’s easier to bounce back if you’ve been exercising regularly (5-6 times a week).  If you’re newer to exercise, or don’t exercise regularly, you risk depleting your fitness more rapidly. Age plays a role in your bounce-back time – generally, the older you are the quicker you lose your fitness.

A couple of days to a week of inactivity will not significantly diminish your fitness levels, that being said, anything over 2 weeks may show physiological changes in the body and a decrease in fitness.  Decreases in strength don’t happen as quickly as decreases in cardiovascular endurance as your body has muscle memory. While your cardio fitness does fall faster than strength, cardio is easier to regain.

It’s always good to have a break from the gym if you’re in need of one. While you should try and stay consistent with your training, don’t beat yourself up for missing a few days here and there. Exercise inflicts stress on the body and every exercise regime should include rest days to enable your body to recover properly – both your body and mind will benefit from recovery days.

Whether you’ve got the flu, have an injury or taking a relaxing holiday, try to keep up your fitness in your downtime.

Do light cardio – take brisk walks or do a quick interval training session (such as this at-home barre workout), this will maintain your gains better than if you completely stop exercising.

Do resistance training – doing bodyweight exercises, swimming, light dynamic warm ups and tabata are exercises that don’t over stress the body and are a good way to maintain strength until you get back into your regular routine. A mixture of light cardio and resistance training will help you recover from (minor) injury. Changing up your routine will help avoid burnout.

Eat right – Exercise helps you to avoid cravings. While you’re not working out it’s important to eat a balanced diet with lots of proteins, healthy fats and wholegrain based carbs (try our Top 4 Healthy Breakfasts). This will help avoid weight gain and make it easier to get back into the swing of things.

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