7 Things that Happen to Your Body When You Stop Exercising

7 Things that Happen to Your Body When You Stop Exercising

July 08, 2018 10 Comments

This is how I felt when I had to stop exercising for 5 weeks

I am normally a huge fan of the gym, I'll go 1-2 hours daily and 6 days a week. So when my husband and I planned a 5 week, 7000 mile road trip my biggest concern was not going to the gym. And I would also be eating most of my meals in restaurants for the entire 5 weeks. My biggest issue was gaining weight and losing the muscle I had built up in the gym. I managed to only gain 1 pound on our trip but what I lost in the fitness department was a lot different.

What happened When I tried to Exercise on Our Trip

My plan was to at least walk a bit on vacation. The first 2 weeks I walked every morning. Then one morning while I was out a very big black snake crossed my path. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you it was long enough to cover the sidewalk as it was crossing to the other side. That was my last morning I walked! After that I only averaged about 2000 steps per day where normally I would average about 15,000 steps per day at home.

How I Felt After I Got Home From Our Trip

When we arrived home I did a lot of walking up and down our stairs. My legs were so sore the next day! However, I did not take it easy and the following day I went back to the gym and pushed myself hard, really hard. The following day I was so sore I was sick to my stomach. So that got me thinking as to what happens to our bodies when we stop exercising.

What Happens to Our Bodies When We Stop Exercising?

  • Endurance Goes Down- 

    Two weeks after you stop exercising your endurance starts to decline. After about 2 weeks you can have a drop in your VO2 (maximum amount of oxygen your body can use). In that first 2 weeks it can drop about 10% and after a month it can drop about 15%.

                                          

  • Increased Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose Levels-

    It only takes 2 week after you stop exercising for your blood pressure and blood glucose levels to rise.

                        
  • Strength Decreases- 

It only takes 4 weeks once you stop exercising to notice a decline in strength. And only 2 weeks to notice a decrease in muscle mass, bone density and flexibility.


 
  • You May Gain Fat-

    Did you know it only takes 8 weeks after you stop exercising before you may begin to notice physical changes. Although after 5 weeks I noticed a lot more jiggling than I had before our trip.

 

  • The Brain May be Affected-

    I found it surprising that only 10 days after you stop exercising your brain may be affected. Exercise sends oxygen to your brain. Those that skipped exercising for 10 days were noted to have a reduction of blood flow to the area of the brain that is associated with memory and emotions.


 

  • Sleep Can be Disrupted-

    Once you stop exercising your sleep may be impacted. During REM you produce hormones that help repair muscle tissue damaged during work outs. If you haven't exercised you can have more energy which reduces the need for deep sleep which can than lead to restlessness and lack of sleep.

  • Mood Can be Affected-

    Your mood may be affected once you stop exercising. Exercise triggers endorphins which are your feel good hormones. I know there are times I am not feeling the gym but once I get there and get a good work out in I end up feeling amazing!

 

Do you love or loathe the gym? Let me know in the comments!

All in all I'm glad to be back from vacation and I plan to hit the gym pretty hard this week to start building my stamina and strength back up!

If I can help you with your health and wellness goals please contact me here.

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10 Responses

Laura | The Yellow Birdhouse
Laura | The Yellow Birdhouse

July 10, 2018

I loathe the gym/exercise! But I just started a bootcamp to try to get healthier and I haven’t been hating it. lol. I’m hoping to start feeling better soon, cause I was starting to feel super crappy!

Bibi on Board
Bibi on Board

July 10, 2018

I totally understand your situation. Before pregnancy I used to be very active – it doesn’t only concern sport, but also many daily activities. My pregnancy was under the risk of miscarriage, so I had to limit my exercises. I was walking a lot, as my doctor advised (after delivery my main activity was pushing stroller and holding baby which increased my biceps ;) ).

This break didn’t effect my appearance – I lost my weight pretty fast after a birth. But my mood definitely went down and I started having problems with my spine. My Husband is a fitness instructor and he pushes me a lot to start training. To the mentioned problems, the laziness joined. The beginning was very difficult, but now I feel much better – physically and mentally. I hope, I’ll keep going ;)

I’m inviting you to my blog as well. There’s an article about the activities you can do with your baby in Istanbul, Turkey :)

Melisa
Melisa

July 10, 2018

This is a great reminder to stay on the exercise train! I’ve fallen off recently and appreciate the encouragement.

Ashley
Ashley

July 09, 2018

Very insightful post. I am currently in a workout funk. I didn’t realize all the effects that not working out can have on you! Makes me want to get back at it hard tomorrow! Thanks!

Mamie
Mamie

July 09, 2018

This is so true in many ways.

Rosey | Simply Be Mama
Rosey | Simply Be Mama

July 09, 2018

It’s so very important to keep this in mind and use it to stay motivated!

Cayla
Cayla

July 09, 2018

Great post! I love the gym but have definitely decreased the amount of times I go after having my daughter..and I feel each thing you listed. I definitely want to get back into the habit of going once she goes to bed for the night!

Ari Salas
Ari Salas

July 09, 2018

Very interesting. I work out every day too. When I am on vacation I take my weights with me.

Stacey
Stacey

July 09, 2018

Great points. I need to start working out again lol!!

Jen @The Frozen Mind
Jen @The Frozen Mind

July 09, 2018

I used to do a boot camp style work out 3-4 days a week before I got sick. I miss the energy I had then. Now I can barely go up the stairs without being out of breath.

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