Taking Time Off. How it can Hurt Your Progress

So, you’re thinking, “why start exercising now?”  Or maybe you’ve been exercising, but with all the events, meetings, etc.. You feel you should just take off the rest of the year and start back up in January. Before you decide to blow off the rest of the year, I want you to take a few things into consideration. Research published online in “The Journal of Gerontology” found that just 2 weeks of no-activity has a dramatic impact on your health. The researchers studied overweight adults at risk of developing type II diabetes. They found not only did the “no-activity speed up the onset of type II diabetes and elevate blood sugar levels but some participants did not fully recover when they returned to normal activity”.

Additionally, research studies show and I personally have seen the struggle one has when trying to put fitness and/or proper eating back into their life. Often times when someone takes time off from exercise they fill it with something else (not always important) and now feel like they don’t have time. Another obstacle many face after taking a long time off is the soreness they experience once they start back up. Keep in mind DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is not a good indicator of a workout, but the reality is if you have not been exercising and you’re nutrition has been “off” once you start back up you’re going to be sore. I suggest you start off slowly and with lighter weight and higher reps if you are just getting back into it. The lighter weight will decrease (but not eliminate) your chance of injury and/or severe soreness. Getting back to a “healthy” routine can be just as challenging if not more so when it comes to your eating versus exercise. Many times people will skip meals then eat whatever they can along with not drinking enough water and overdoing it on caffeine and/or alcohol all of which will make getting back on track that much harder.

Please keep in mind, I’m not suggesting you need to exercise intensely daily or that you can’t take a day or two off. You must however be active regularly and eat a well balanced diet. Having a program that incorporates cardio, strength, flexibility and proper recovery is essential. It will vary for everyone, which is why you should set up a consult with one of our coaches or a coach at another reputable establishment. If you have not been exercising make sure you have your doctor’s clearance as well.

Here are a few takeaways to keep you on track now and throughout the year.

  1. Set Rules and Follow Them!  If you are busier than normal, don’t set a guideline of going to the gym as much, take it from 5 to 4 or 4 to 3 and one day do something at home. Give yourself guidelines when it comes to indulging in food and/or drink. You may put a limit on how many or that you only have “X” when you’re out of the house, etc.…
  2. Make your workouts enjoyable and metabolic. Burn some serious calories and get the most bang for your buck. Incorporating: Swings, burpees, cardio throughout, ropes, slam balls, etc.…
  3. Take time to stretch. With all the stress must of us experience this time of year, we are tight. Spend 5-10 minutes (minimum) daily and get some light active stretching to help keep you limber.
  4. Have an accountability partner. That’s what we are here for!

Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.

 

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