Let’s face it, getting and staying fit can be hard work, and it can be very tempting to take breaks from fitness. Some days we just don’t feel like working out, and we justify it with the typical logic behind the question, “what harm could skipping a few days do?” Well, if you’re not careful, those days can quickly turn into weeks, months, or, worst-case scenario, years, and before you know it, you’re right back where you started. However, there are other reasons why taking a vacation from fitness is a bad idea, so the next time you think about taking a break, consider the following:
You Lose Strength
If you stop using the muscles you use when working out, they will begin to wither. Your strength will decrease, and when you attempt to pick up where you left off, you’ll feel a noticeable difference in your abilities. If only things were so simple that our biology allowed us to develop muscular strength and hold onto it without having to maintain it; unfortunately, that’s not the case, so we need to keep with it.
To keep your strength where it is, you must maintain some degree of frequent exercise in your lifestyle, even if you plan on taking a short vacation from fitness. Try to devote some time each week to strength training. Otherwise, you might slide down that slippery slope and find yourself undoing years of progress.
It’s Much Harder to Start up Again
Letting your workout routine slide will make things harder for you when you decide to start up again. The length of time you leave between exercising frequently and not exercising at all is very important. The longer the gap, the harder it will be to start up again. We lose strength and stamina, and our mental focus diminishes far quicker than we think. What’s more, if you combine not exercising with other bad habits, such as excessive eating and drinking, you’ll be in for a shock when you try to get back into your fitness routine.
Rather than stopping your exercise completely, it’s better to insert small amounts of exercise into your weekly routine. For example, if you plan on going on vacation for 2-3 weeks, you can still exercise. People often let things slide while traveling or on vacation, but it doesn’t have to be the case. There are always opportunities to exercise during free time and while traveling.
It’s Easier to Put on Weight
One of the most heartbreaking consequences of not exercising is weight gain. If you aren’t watching what you eat and aren’t exercising, weight gain is inevitable. Many fitness enthusiasts with specific diets for bodybuilding suffer the worst from taking breaks from fitness. Building strength and muscle usually requires following specific diets, many of which involve consuming a lot of food. It can be tough to kick eating habits, and if those continue when exercise is halted, the weight gain effects can be devastating.
If you aren’t burning calories and energy through exercise, all those unused carbohydrates will turn into fat, setting up a situation for your weight to skyrocket. You’ll also put yourself at risk for several other health issues if you’re not careful. Try to maintain some exercise in your life even if you plan on taking a small break. This could involve power walking, aerobics, weight lifting or any other fitness activities you enjoy. It’s far more effective to exercise a little during a break than to stop working out completely.
If you do decrease the amount of exercise you do, one useful thing you can do is to track your weight and diet with an app. Apps such as “Monitor Your Weight” or “Lose It!” are great for tracking calories, helping to show you how your diet is impacting your health. These apps require personal information, so use a secure connection, but they can also help you monitor what’s happening with your body so that you can adjust your fitness habits to meet your needs.
Stick with it!
Although tempting at times, taking a vacation from fitness doesn’t really serve us in any way. The only time you should take a break from fitness is if you’re injured or if you have some other health issue preventing you from exercising.
If you want to maintain good strength and stamina, keep cardio and weight training as part of your lifestyle. So when things get tough and you feel like quitting for a bit, know that a break does more harm than good, so stick with it!
Author bio: Faith is blogger who writes about a wide range of topics, from health and fitness to technology. As someone who values exercise, she is always looking for new ways to stay active so that she doesn’t get bored. She loves to try new things!