YOU MIGHT WANT TO THINK AGAIN…
Making exercise a priority in your life is definitely a choice – if it’s not a priority then it will inevitably get pushed down the pecking order when you make decisions on how you spend your time. It’s vital for anyone to attain beneficial results there has to be a regular commitment to exercise on their behalf. And I’m not talking commitment for a few weeks or months – I’m talking years! Consistency is the key as they say.
The committed ones understand this concept on a number of different levels but for those of you with stop-start & on and off again training patterns there is something that should be brought to your attention…
It’s called detraining. Or some people like to call it deconditioning.
This is the term used when you stop exercising. Whether it’s for work, travel, injury, illness or just plain lazy and couldn’t be f***ed. Granted life throws curve balls at all of us from time to time but what happens when you take a break from your regular exercise routine is very interesting.
Depending on your fitness levels and how long and intensely you had been training for prior, it can take as little as 2 weeks of detraining for you to start losing cardiovascular gains and your hearts ability to pump blood efficiently throughout your body. Muscle fibre size also starts decreasing as does your body’s ability to process oxygen, use food as fuel and burn fat.
Just 2 weeks and any adaptation your body has had through exercise starts to diminish therefore jeopardising any progress you have made and want to make moving forward. To make matters worse, the less you’ve done, the quicker you’ll lose it!
According to the American college of sports medicine not exercising for two to eight months leads to loss of virtually all fitness gains! Let that sink in for a minute…
Now you don’t have be a rocket scientist to know that 2 weeks isn’t long. Unfortunately though it’s the way our body works so the sooner you can wrap your head around making exercise a mainstay in your life the better off you’ll be. This doesn’t mean you always have to be at your best giving 100% every time you step into the gym, but being consistent and always doing something will hold you in good stead I promise! And there’s ALWAYS something you can do. Busy or not. Tired or not. Happy or not. Injured or not. Stressed or not. If you really want to find a way to make it work you will!
People often come up to me unsatisfied with their progress but upon investigation more often than not the underlying factor has been significant periods of detraining hindering them. 2 steps forward 3 steps back… Sure other factors come into play like eating & sleeping patterns and stress levels but once again it’s making these elements priorities in your life if you really want to reap the rewards.
My point is that even though we all know the importance and benefits of exercising regularly there’s still a lot of people out there that don’t fully understand that you can’t just turn the tap on and off when you feel like it. A few months of exercising here and a few weeks there doesn’t cut it and you’ll be often left scratching your head as to why it’s so difficult to see results. You’ll feel forever frustrated and look for shortcuts or easier ways to try and cheat the system. Sorry to tell you but It’s not going to happen.
So ask yourself when was the last time you had time off exercise? Remember it takes as little as 2 weeks before your body can start going into detraining mode so whether you like it or not the pressure is on. This is why it’s imperative that your attitude towards health & fitness and exercising is a positive one and one that needs to be looked at as a long term proposition. Not a short one. This is the most crucial step I believe you can take.
In summarising, I’m still blown away by how many people don’t think about or can’t entertain the idea of staying active for their entire lives – what’s a 3 month burst going to do?? 6 months…. 12 months even. As soon as you stop you’ll go back to where you were when you started. Can anyone honestly tell me they’re ok with that?? Doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
I have the attitude that I will be exercising forever until my mind and body are no longer able to function. It will always be a big part of my life and the most important investment I will ever make – the benefits are far too good to ignore.
Invest in yourself and make exercise a priority – you won’t be disappointed
See you in the gym 🙂
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