By Chioma Umeha
As much as you may try to consistently work out and be active, more often than not as life fluctuates so does your dedication to your physical fitness. Maybe you started the week with great aspirations only to get hit by extra work at the office, a big life event, or changes to your personal life. When this happens your priorities may have shifted, leaving your body neglected and the gym far from your mind. It’s natural to adapt to changes in your life, but quitting your workout routine has some major and often immediate impacts on your health. Experts call this phenomenon ‘detraining’ and the impacts are greater than a couple pounds gained.
Not yet convinced? Check out the immediate and long-term impacts that quitting your workout routine has on your body and mind.
Your blood pressure soars
This change is practically immediate as your blood pressure is higher on days you exercise than on days you don’t. When you skip any form of physical exercise your blood vessels quickly adapt, increasing your blood pressure a couple notches after just two weeks of missed gym sessions. Within just one month of neglecting your body, your arteries and veins stiffen, sending your blood pressure reading back to where it would be if you’d never left the couch or started working out in the first place. If you suffer from high blood pressure, a month or two back at the gym will lower your numbers and have your blood vessels functioning efficiently.
Loss of strength
Even after three days of skipped physical activity, your body will begin changing. Your muscle mass will start to decrease, fibers will lose their fat burning capabilities, and you’ll begin to lose that strength you took so much time to develop. You won’t be able to immediately look in a mirror and see your body shrinking, but when you finally hit the gym again your muscles will get fatigued faster than before. Muscles that are rarely used in your day-to-day life like your abdomen are the fastest to lose tone, while muscles like your hamstrings which you use to walk around will decline at a slower pace.