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How to keep your body fit if you stop training?

6 min read

With the modern dynamic rhythm of life, the ability to “build” your body and engage in regular training is often a luxury. Therefore, many have breaks in training and, as a rule, are quite long. There can be many reasons: starting with an injury or illness, and ending with a work schedule, moving, family circumstances … What can you do if you also have a break in fitness? How not to lose the results of long workouts and save weight? We tell in more detail.

How does our body react when we stop training regularly?

Changes in the body occur as soon as you stop training. They will continue all day, and the next day, and every other day – if you do not go to training again. And the physical qualities that you have been going to for so long (strength, endurance, flexibility, balance) are half worsened after 2-3 weeks of a break in fitness. So, what exactly happens in our body if we stop exercising?

3-5 days

This is quite a bit, and sometimes such breaks are simply necessary for the body to rest and fully recover – if you have been training for a long time, regularly and quite intensively. Fitness experts advise skipping 1-2 workouts in a row in your exercise schedule every 2-3 months so that the body "reboots". But if this break is accompanied not by rest (sleep, fresh air, sauna), but by feasts (for example, on holidays), drinking alcohol, lack of sleep and a downed regime of the day, then recovery will not happen. Entering training days will be much more difficult and problematic, and you will be physically worse.

1,5-2 weeks

If you exercise regularly, at least three times a week, then 2 weeks of skipping is a whole 5-6 workouts. If you get sick, pulled a bunch, you had to leave somewhere, such a break is justified. But even for this, it would seem, short time, muscle fibers lose their elasticity and hardness, become softer, more loose, less elastic. Our body accumulates fluid, which makes the muscles “fill up” and lose their relief. We do not gain weight, on the contrary – it can decrease. But the body ceases to look so fit even in just 2 weeks of skipping. In principle, returning to training immediately, you can easily catch up.

1-2 months

We will not talk about the reasons for such a long break. We will only say that during this time your body will “spill over” in order: your body does not want to work, say, “at idle” and at a minimum of activity, and instead it actively accumulates fat mass. Muscle mass decreases, the amount of fat increases. Indicators of physical strength and endurance are also reduced, flexibility and coordination are deteriorating, and even after a not too long active walk, muscle strength is manifested.

Six months – a year

Well, if the break is more than six months, then it is not just about losing muscle mass, accumulating fat, increasing body weight (due to fat). Metabolism changes, it slows down due to lack of activity. And even if you try to follow the diet and stay within the normal or minimum calories, you can gain weight. And in general, all body systems, especially the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which so need physical activity, will work worse. Endurance worsens, you feel tired faster after any physical work, there is a breakdown and apathy, sleep patterns are disturbed.

The statistics are not very comforting: only 5% of all those who managed to achieve success in losing weight and getting their body in shape retain this result, if not for life, then at least for a long time, even if they take a break from training. We decided to understand in more detail what is needed to maintain the body in shape.

Fitness break: prepare your base in advance

Remember one simple rule: the more and more intensively you train, the longer your body will be in shape after the end (or pause) of training. In many ways, this contributes to the accumulation of muscle mass. Therefore, all experts on weight loss unanimously reiterate that high-quality weight loss is possible not only with diets or proper nutrition, and not only with the help of cardio exercises that burn fat. For beautiful forms, strength fitness is also necessary – those exercises that allow you to accumulate muscle mass. The more it is in our body, the less fat.

Therefore, if you know or assume that a break is waiting for you in the near (or distant) future, try to prepare the base in advance. Moving, new work with a busy schedule, planning a child and pregnancy, other circumstances – if you know that they will come, try to get rid of fat and build muscle, exercise more and more intensively while you have time. Then, even after a long break, you can quickly return to shape, and the muscles will remember their former activity.

Forced break: visit a traumatologist and fully recover

Forced break: visit a traumatologist and fully recover

But in some cases, unforeseen circumstances are not amenable to planning. Even the most harmless, at first glance, injury, sprain, stretched muscle or tendon can permanently knock you out of the rut of the training process. And here you should be especially careful. First of all, immediately visit a traumatologist – this is a prerequisite. Only he can prescribe the necessary treatment and rehabilitation procedures, and only he will say how long you will have to give up physical activity.

The same applies to diseases, more serious than a cold. You must be completely cured so that no trace of infection, any internal inflammation, or virus remains in the body. Here, too, you must definitely listen to your doctor who will tell you when you can go to fitness again. Pay attention to your health and well-being, fully recover, gain strength, maintain your immunity, and only then you can think about further weight loss and make plans.

No way to practice: look for an alternative to training

And sometimes, in connection with the change of occupation, profession, workplace, we simply do not have time for training. A busy schedule, the inability to plan classes, some family circumstances, long trips, moving and many other factors can be the reason for the lack of regular training in your life. Therefore, it is necessary to look for an alternative to full-fledged trainings.

At a minimum, walk if possible. Half an hour walk to work? Fine: use this opportunity – and you will have a daily full-time half-hour training. Wear sneakers and take removable shoes with you to work, and cross the path to the office with a quick step. And on the way back, you can go for a run, since there is a shower and fresh clothes at home.

At the weekend, even if you have “no power”, try not to spend time lying on the couch. Yes, sometimes that's all I want to do in my free time. But it is much better in the warm season to go to the pool or the nearest body of water, take a walk on a picnic, and spend the same time alone if you want it, but in the fresh air. Try to look for any opportunity so that the body does not forget about active movements – then the muscles will be in tone longer.

How to save weight loss results: be sure to keep an eye on nutrition

How to save weight loss results: be sure to keep an eye on nutrition

And, of course, nutrition! This is probably the most important thing in terms of maintaining weight, if you have a break in regular workouts. As we said above, in the absence of physical activity and loss of muscle mass, our body will actively accumulate body fat. Therefore, we must give him a minimum chance to do this. Be sure to monitor the calorie intake. If, in your studies, you have consumed a certain calorie norm, now you can reduce it even more. After all, the body will no longer spend so many calories due to lack of physical activity.

Try to eat more often, but in very small portions, make small basic meals and snacks (healthy ones – yogurts, fruits, dried fruits, salads) between them, eat even more protein, but less carbohydrates and fats, carefully calculate calories and do not forget to weigh portions of food . And be sure to drink more water: the fact that you do not sweat during training does not mean that your body needs less fluid!

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