Summer is here and along with the hot weather, vacations, cookouts, and parties, it’s often a time that many allow their fitness goals to take a break. Summer can be a busy time of year for many families; however, just because schedules have changed doesn’t mean your workouts need to take a backseat. In fact, if you find yourself taking too much time off, many of those hard-earned gains could start to disappear in as little as two weeks.
So what exactly happens to your body if you give up exercise?
Your Brain Starts to Change
Within 10 days, the production of blood-flow to your brain could slow down. In the study, when a group of long-term endurance runners took a 10-day exercise hiatus, their subsequent MRIs showed a reduction in blood flow to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that’s associated with memory and emotion. The researchers point out that although the runners didn’t experience any cognitive changes over the period, more long-term studies are needed.
Your Endurance May Take a Plunge and Your Vitals May Suffer
Skipping workouts consistently can cause a reduction in your VO2 max, or the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use. If you find yourself more winded walking up the stairs or performing everyday activities, this could be a sign that your oxygen levels are dropping. You may also notice a sharp raise in your blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
You May Start to Lose Strength and Gain Body Fat
Within four weeks, you may start to notice a decline in your strength and within six to eight weeks, your body may start to retain more fat than it had when you were consistently exercising.
While there is a big difference between breaking up with your workout routine and taking a well-intended break for necessary reasons; the bottom line is maintaining some sort of physical activity daily is vital. Don’t let summer be a reason to get too off track with your goals and be sure to find ways to keep it enjoyable and obtainable.