Sometimes an unplanned rest day becomes a week and turns into months. Sometimes an injury puts us out for longer than anticipated. Here’s what happens to your body when your workout comes to a halt. So it’s always good to keep your routine and if you have an injury – cross train!
#1 Your Blood Pressure Rises
Regular exercise helps lower your blood pressure. With a stronger heart, your heart cam pump with less effort. This in effect lowers the pressure in your arteries. However, should you drop your workout routine, your blood arteries will start to harden and narrow. This does not happen overnight, don’t worry. So, taking a few days off wouldn’t hurt! However, a pro-long hiatus will cause a rise in your blood pressure and physiological changes and it takes another 3 months for your arteries to get back in shape.
So, remember to always exercise regularly. If you are injured – cross train!
#2 Your Muscles Start Resisting Insulin
When we exercise, our body converts glucose to energy used to power of workouts. Reducing that expenditure of energy will cause our body to adapt physiologically as well. Our body becomes less insulin sensitive. Improper insulin regulation prompts your body to store what’s not used as fat. This is the basis of weight gain as well.
#3 Your Muscles Shrink
You are going to get small. Pro-long hiatus will cause you to lose muscle strength. Your muscles will start to be converted into fat. This again does not happen immediately. It happens over a course of time. Don’t let the hardworking you have put in for months be wasted by taking such a long hiatus.
#4 VO2 Max Drops
VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize. It is measured as millilitres of oxygen used in a minute per kg of body weight. This helps determine your cardio capacity and performance. An recent research shows that just a 12 days break shows a 7 per cent drop in VO2 Max.
#5 You Get Grumpy
Exercise makes you happy – even if it’s a simple hike, a short jog or a nice swim. When we exercises, our body produces happy hormones – endorphins. You may not notice it, but it’s there. You just have a better energy boost and mood after exercise. However a hiatus will make your grumpy and agitated. Some people say it’s exercise withdrawal syndrome.
You’ve put in the hard work so far. Don’t take too long a break from it. Make exercise part of your life – make it a lifestyle. 3 – 4 times a week is enough to keep you healthy. If you have sustained an injury, don’t let that stop you. You can always cross train!