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Taking a Break from Exercise?

Date Added: June 19, 2008 11:35:58 AM
Category: Bodybuilding

You are a fitness freak who works out regularly without fail. So what do you do when you are forced by injury or some unforeseen circumstance to put a break in your routine? Do you worry that all the hard-earned muscle mass, strength and endurance will be lost? Frankly some amount of loss is inevitable but there are ways and means of minimizing this loss.

Impact on cardiovascular fitness

Detraining or taking a break from your normal workout does not have the same effect on everybody. It depends a lot on your fitness level. If you are a well-trained athlete then a break from exercise will not have the same effect on you as compared to someone who is moderately fit or someone who has a sedentary life. For cardiovascular fitness, individuals who are extremely fit, such as highly trained athletes experience a quick drop in fitness level during the first three weeks of detraining. Later this graph stabilizes with a less downward curve. Interestingly if you have low-to-moderate fitness levels then you will experience little change in cardiovascular fitness levels within the first few weeks, but it is sure to fall rapidly in the later weeks.

A blow on sports

It is a proven fact that any activity or sport that you pursue needs continuity. Abandon it for sometime and you will clearly see the plunge in your ability to perform. Studies have shown that marathon runners experience a 25 per cent decrease in endurance after just 15 days of inactivity. Swimmers would do well to remember that keeping away from regular training would result in a loss of at least 13 per cent strength within four weeks. However, it is not easy to ascertain an exact analysis of this cause and effect relationship for all sports and activities as numerous factors come into play when analyzing the ability to perform a particular sport-centric task. So, it becomes difficult to know the exact impact of detraining. However, what is certain is that all activities show a dipping graph if you take a break.

A break from routine exercise has an adverse effect on muscles. Again, individuals with high fitness levels will be better off than lesser-trained individuals leading a sedentary life.

Resist the detraining impulses

Although there can be circumstances which might force you to break or discontinue your training, always think about all the hard work that you have done to achieve the present level of fitness. Don't let any momentary impulse wreck the benefits of fitness that you have already earned. If you are bored with running try walking or swimming, change your workout routine and make it more dynamic and lively.

Remember cross training is the best solution at times because it can keep you motivated. If you are suffering from injuries go to the pool. Swimming is one of the best rehabilitation exercises. Remember it can make a huge difference if you do at least something instead of doing nothing at all. Do it less, do it low but if you slip into a totally sedentary life you may find it difficult if not impossible to start again.

Always keep these points in mind before you think of taking a sabbatical from exercising.

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