Here are five things that happen to our bodies once we stop working out for a such time such as two weeks.
Most of us are guilty of skipping our workout sessions for short/long periods of time, not really understanding what this does to the body.
While this break might not seem like a big deal, the physical effects on our bodies are terrible.
Find out top fitness experts, Stephanie Dietz, a studio director and “cycologist” and Sam Karl, an instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp, have to say about what happens when we avoid workouts for as short as two weeks.
Your body is already changing after three days- According to Dietz, muscle mass will start to decrease as “fibers lose their fat-burning capabilities,” and in turn, you’ll lose strength. While you can’t see the process happening, the “slow and fast-twitch endurance muscle fibers” (necessary for strenuous and efficient exercise) become more “easily fatigued muscle fiber types.” Dietz says the muscles we use every day, like our hamstrings, lose tone at a slower pace than another small, less-used muscle group, like your ab muscles.
You’ll need to work extra hard to gain what you’re losing- Dietz says fitness level and muscle strength take “double the amount of time you took off” in order to return to what they once were. However, Sam Karl believes a break isn’t always a bad thing, as long as you’re not too indulgent, saying, "if you take two weeks off and keep your protein intake high, you could come back even stronger."
Cravings get stronger- According to Dietz, cravings for “comfort foods” — usually high in fats and carbohydrates — are a result of a lack of positive influence on “mood, energy and stamina” you get from exercise. "When you didn’t just kill yourself for 45 minutes on a bike, you’re more likely to “seek convenient, fast and less healthy food options.” Karl says sticking to the same nutrition routine will actually “help you maintain the muscle it took you so long to build.”
You stress out a lot- Both Dietz and Karl wholeheartedly agree on this one as exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Even if it’s just been two weeks since you pumped some iron, the lack of “natural release of endorphins” you’re used to could potentially lead to emotional stress, says Dietz. When you work out, Karl says you “release [the] muscle tension… that could be causing stress or anxiety.”
You get insomnia- When you haven’t worked out for a short period of time, Karl points to the “extra nervous energy” as a key factor in making sleep more difficult.