#HealthBytes: Changes that happen when you stop working out

Last updated on Feb 28, 2021, 06:52 pm
#HealthBytes: Changes that happen when you stop working out

A day's break from working out could get stretched and before we realize it, we can be left feeling like a newbie at the gym. You don't have to guilt-trip for giving your body a break for a few days. But how long is too long? Here are a few changes that your body goes through when you take a break from working out.


If you're a regular, a short break will refresh you

If you are someone who religiously works out five to six times a week, there is no need to stress out if you take a small break. A short break of up to a week will in fact help relax your muscles and mind. But if you have just begun working out, such a break can be detrimental to your routine.

VO2 max

Prolonged gaps will cause a drop in VO2 max

VO2 max is the optimum rate at which the oxygen is efficiently used by the body during exercise. When there are longer breaks between workouts, the body's VO2 max begins to drop considerably. For an average gym-goer, these changes are noticed during the second week while for expert athletes, the VO2 max begins to drop after about three or four weeks of inactivity.

Muscle mass

Not much change in terms of muscle mass

Muscle mass is a hard variable to gauge as it varies from individual to individual based on gender, type of workout, age, etc. However, it is believed that not many changes happen in terms of muscle mass within two weeks of a workout gap. Research suggests that there is no change in muscle strength fibers even after a month of inactivity.

Workout frequency

Signs of de-training vary from individual to individual

The more fit a person is, the more their body shows signs of de-training than someone who is irregular in working out. This is because the body is used to a certain schedule and it will require some time to adapt to the new change. For those who are not that regular at working out, changes in overall fitness could be less obvious.


Effects on health that result from workout breaks

A study shows that after three days of inactivity, the blood sugar levels remained elevated even in healthy, young individuals. Workout breaks can have an effect on blood pressure levels and long breaks can bring back symptoms in individuals who have hypertension. Weight gain is another obvious change that you may experience due to lesser calories being burned by your body.

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