Exercising regularly has many benefits – it improves overall health and stamina. Along with that, it enables our bodies to have better consumption of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. However, it happens from time to time that you miss an exercise and after that it is even easier to miss the next one. This usually leads to not working out at all – but, did you ever think about what happens to your body when you stop exercising?
Stopping with regular exercising (this is also called detraining) triggers some processes that start changing your body after just few days. Experts say that the lack of exercise has much more serious consequences than just gaining a few pounds – it speeds up aging process, you increase the risk of chronic illness and your cardiovascular health along with muscular structure will be impacted.
The interesting thing is that the negative effects of detraining take different times to manifest, depending on your fitness level – experts say that the negative effects that the person who has a sedentary lifestyle experience after one or two months, an elite athlete will experience in less than a week. This basically means that the more active you are, the faster you feel and experience the negative effects of detraining.
Cardio (short for cardio conditioning) is one of the most common types of exercises. Cardio improves our cardiovascular health and when you stop exercising this is where the first negative effects start showing – you find it more difficult to walk short or long distances or it is harder for you when you go up the stairs. This happens because cardio makes your heart stronger and lungs healthier, but when you stop with exercising you lose all advantages of cardio.
It has been scientifically proven that regular exercise lowers your blood pressure, however, as you probably already know – when you stop exercising your blood pressure increases. One research has come to the conclusion that even in the first few weeks of detraining, blood pressure can increase over the average value that person had during the period of regular exercise.
When a fit person transforms to a sedentary person, even fitness experts consider that person to be healthy, however, more than often these persons are labeled as deconditioned individuals. Keep in mind that it does not matter why you have stopped exercising – there will be negative effects. When the muscle atrophy sets in, you will most certainly start having problems with your ligaments and joints. As you lose muscle tone, you will slowly develop muscle atrophy – especially if you have exercised regularly. Furthermore, the loss of muscle mass depends is influenced by your age – the older you are, the process of muscle mass loss will be faster.
The best thing about detraining is that it can all be stopped and reversed if you only do one thing and one thing only – start training again. Getting back to your healthy lifestyle might not get you where you were before you stopped in the same time, but you will surely get there if you are consistent.