How Bad is Extended Time Off from Exercise?

I get it.  You’re tired.  Maybe you’re physically tired.  Maybe you’re mentally tired. You may be “over” the fact the scale is not moving as much as you’d like; you’re not making the strength gains you want or any number of disappointments.

You figure, “what the heck, I might as well not work out and/or eat healthy”. Before you do, I urge you to keep reading.

Research published online in the “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 2 diabetes. They found, not only did the no-activity speed up the onset of type 2 diabetes and elevate blood sugar levels, but some participants did not fully recover when they returned to normal activity.

Please keep in mind, I’m not (nor is the research) suggesting you need to exercise intensely daily and you can never take a day off.  You must however, be active regularly and eat a well balanced diet.

Having an exercise program that incorporates flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning and strength training will help you stay fit and fight off several diseases linked to in activity.

Each of you will vary as to how much and/or how many days a week you should do each of the above, but as a rule of thumb (assuming you have a doctor’s clearance and no previous injuries and/or limitations) I suggest you work on flexibility daily.

You should be active daily. However, if you’re doing intense cardio (HIIT and/or long distance -over 30 minutes) 3-4 times a week or strength training 3-5 times a week, keep in mind muscles need 48-72 hours to recover. Meaning – you would not want to do chest two days in a row!

So the next time, you feel like throwing in the towel, I want you to think twice and maybe take a day or two off, get some rest and get back on the wagon!  Asking a family member or friend to join you or hiring a coach to switch things up are great ways to keep you on track.

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 or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.

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