The body adapts to higher doses of testosterone, adrenaline, and endorphins when exercising regularly (Shutterstock)

People usually need a lot of motivation to start exercising, and even more motivation to keep doing it amid a busy day schedule. Minutes of exercise sometimes seem arduous, and people tend to neglect them due to work pressures. Mostly, people succeed in exercising regularly for a period of time, and then they quickly stop.

As an encouragement to practice sports, we review below what happens to the body if you make the decision to stop it. Will it be easy to regain your fitness after stopping?

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Decreased fitness level

A person gains fitness in general when he improves his cardiovascular capabilities and increases muscle strength, and this may be achieved by increasing effort greater than what the body is accustomed to.

No matter how fit you are, stopping exercise for a long period means losing fitness, but how quickly this happens depends on your personal circumstances and the type of fitness you have acquired.

When you exercise regularly, the body adapts to those bursts of testosterone, adrenaline, and endorphins, and oxygen flows to the tissues, and this is the first effect that you lose by stopping exercise, cardiovascular endurance, as the volume of blood plasma in the body decreases, leading to a series of Other changes in the heart and blood vessels.

Stopping exercise for a long period of time causes loss of fitness (Shutterstock)

Runners and swimmers have what is called aerobic fitness, which is acquired through continuous cardiovascular training. This type of fitness begins to decrease significantly after about two weeks of stopping. After a few months, they can lose their fitness completely.

For a marathon runner, for example, cardiorespiratory fitness - which is the pulse rate and vital capacity of the lungs - decreases by 10% in the first four weeks after he stops exercising, and the rate of decline continues, albeit at a slower rate, in the following weeks.

But this rate differs from the average person, whose maximum oxygen consumption (V02 max) drops sharply, and declines to pre-training levels in less than 8 weeks. After only about 12 days, the amount of blood pumped by the heart decreases. Minutes, then you can notice subtle changes such as a faster heart rate and harder breathing, and the body makes a greater effort to pump blood and oxygen, and exercise becomes more tiring.

The reason for the decrease in the maximum value of oxygen consumption is due to the decrease in blood and plasma volume due to the lack of pressure on the heart and muscles, and leads to pumping less blood around the body with each heartbeat, but the good news is that these levels only decrease to the point from which we started, which means That our condition is not getting worse.

Cardiovascular fitness also decreases when doing light exercises, among those who are accustomed to doing more intense exercises, and its decline begins after about 5 weeks, which means that the difference can be noticed by simply changing the intensity of the exercises, and not just stopping them. It also depends on the capabilities of each individual. We have to keep in mind here that unless it is an injury, stopping exercise does not mean completely stopping any activity.

Heart fitness decreases when doing light exercises in those who are accustomed to doing more intense exercises (Shutterstock)

Gradual decline in muscle strength

As for muscle strength, you may not be able to notice a big difference in the first three weeks. You will be able to carry groceries and heavy weights as you are accustomed to. But after 8 weeks, the maximum weights you could lift will decrease, and the number of repetitions you are accustomed to will decrease. If you decide to return to exercise, you will be more likely to experience muscle pain a day or two after exercise.

The rate of loss in muscle strength depends on age, diet, sleep quality, and your health condition. Good nutrition - especially protein-rich - and maintaining a daily rate of movement can make the rate of change slower. But what happens when the pause is prolonged is a gradual loss of the aesthetic appearance of the muscles, due to the loss of glycogen within them, and the muscles begin to shrink with the possibility of an increase in fat.

After 12 weeks, the amount of weight that we can carry decreases significantly, and the muscle fibers that are used during various activities decrease as a result of not putting pressure on them, and the muscles become “lazy.” The decline occurs at a greater rate as we age, but athletes still have an important advantage. They lose their fitness gains less frequently.

How long does it take to regain fitness?

In general, the fitness levels of most former exercisers remain higher than those who have not practiced it all their lives, and their chances of regaining fitness remain greater, as even during periods of rest the body maintains “muscle memory” that helps it regain its fitness after months of stopping, faster than Starting to exercise for the first time.

Our acquisition of physical fitness is linked to factors such as age, genetics, diet, type of work, and lifestyle. In general, 6 sessions of training are sufficient to increase the maximum absorption of oxygen and improve the body’s ability to use the sugar stored in the cells to obtain energy during exercise. This can also be done during It takes two weeks for the effects of exercise to appear in muscle strength - although a change in muscle size will take about 8 weeks (or 12 weeks) to be noticed.

A slow and steady approach to getting back into shape is ideal, no matter how long you've been out of exercise. More intense exercise is another option, but what you gain easily is likely to be lost just as easily.

It remains to say that rest in sports is an important period, which helps us recover physically and mentally, gives us greater long-term gains in fitness levels, and helps athletes avoid fatigue and injury that occur due to increased pressure on the muscles.

The key here is that it should be an appropriate rest period and not a long pause. If you have to, experts advise you to maintain movement while practicing daily activities, with minutes of short, high-intensity exercises or even climbing the stairs. Doing anything here is better than nothing.

Source: websites