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You must have doubted it when trainers told you that skipping workout sessions for a couple of weeks was bad for your workout journey and overall health. Well, this article is here to attest to that fact. Any day off can pose a challenge to you, and if after two weeks you are yet to get back to the gym and continue with those sessions, you will be in trouble.

There are a couple of markers that will reveal how your fitness level has dropped; some of these markers might be visible to the human eyes while others could be detected only under a very observable pair of eyes.

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The human body is a very sensitive and complex system. It can undergo several physiological changes when a number of exercises have been dropped. A fit body is no exception. If the training is not constant, your body will gradually fall back to a reduced fitness level. How this eventually happens depends on a number of factors like your age, the fit you are, nutrition, etc. If the lack of exercise lingers on for about eight (8) months, you would look like you have never exercised before. There would be a performance decrease in your speed, endurance and strength.

It is therefore advisable that you do not give up on exercising for more than 14 days. Here are the deconditioning signs that will likely take place when you stop exercising for two months:

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Your muscles: You might not notice quickly but there would be a decrease in your muscle mass, bone density, flexibility, and overall blood flow and energy production. Because they are now underused, your muscles will not function as they used to. Atrophy, which is the shrinking of muscle fibres, will happen as the muscle fibre would store less glycogen.

Your aerobic system: Your performance ability will be greatly reduced. The amount of blood pumped out of your heart will reduce, your cardiac output decreases, and the maximum volume of oxygen you can use will decrease as the days go by. To add to these, your body will be too slow to indicate how long and hard you have exercised. It will be too low and as a matter of fact, you will not be able to do much. Hence, you will lose your endurance capability and the ability to do more intense exercises.

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Your brain: Exercises are good for you because they help to pump oxygen to your brain. Missing a total of two weeks of exercises will have you feeling dull as opposed to when you worked out often. Another importance of exercises is that they help to maintain cognitive function. Your dopamine levels will drop significantly when you stop going to the gym. In the coming weeks, you will feel fatigued all the time and coupled with a lack of motivation, this fatigue will make you avoid the gym altogether.

Your sleep: Exercises promote good sleep. A workout session will place stress on your muscle tissues and in deep REM cycles of sleep, your body will produce the needed hormones (e.g. growth hormone and testosterone) that will repair those muscle tissues that were destroyed earlier on. When you stop going to the gym, your body will experience a reduced need for deep sleep and the aftermath is restless and insufficient bouts of sleep that are unhealthy for your overall health.

Featured Image Source: The Guardian Nigerian News
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This article was first published on 25th April 2022


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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