How long does it take to get out of shape

We all know it is hard to get in shape. When you start a new workout program, some days you may feel like you are going to die or like you can’t go on. If you are like me you wonder why you ever quit your program because getting back in shape and starting all over again HURTS.   Did you know it only takes 1 week of inactivity before you start to lose your current fitness level? It generally take twice as long, if not longer, to gain fitness then to lose it. Here is a breakdown of the three components of physical fitness and how fast inactivity can affect them.

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1. Cardiovascular fitness is the ability for your heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to working muscle tissue and the ability of the muscles to use the oxygen to produce energy. Cardiovascular physical activity is exercising one of the most important muscles in your body, your heart. What kind of exercise builds cardiovascular endurance? Try running, walking, swimming, biking, dancing, anything that gets your heart rate up, increases your breathing, and gets your blood pumping. You should get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in at last 5 days a week, for significant health benefits. How fast and how much of your cardiovascular endurance you lose depends on your current fitness level. If you are an elite athlete you will notice a decline right away. Recreational athletes won’t notice as steep of a decline but if they stop doing some type of cardiovascular training they can lose some of their fitness in as little as 5 days. If you are sedentary for a month, you will notice your cardiovascular fitness decline considerably.

2. Flexibility is another component of physical fitness. It is important because it determines how far a muscle can stretch. When you are young and active stretching prevents muscle strains or pulls. Also, athletes that are more flexible have the ability to be faster than those with poor flexibility. As we age we lose flexibility, and stretching becomes important so we can not only avoid injury, but also be mobile. Flexibility can vary from person to person, but it is good to stretch before and after exercise to maintain flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. On your rest days, stretch morning and night. Stretching is something that should be done everyday because you can lose flexibility very quickly, within days if you aren’t on a regular stretching program. Activities like yoga and Beachbody’s new program PiYo are excellent to help maintain flexibility.

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3. Muscular fitness is another important component of physical fitness. It helps increase strength, prevent injuries, prevent osteoporosis, and increases your metabolism by burning more calories at rest. Pick up those weights. They don’t have to be heavy, lift whatever you are comfortable with. Make sure you use proper form when lifting so you don’t get injured. Weight lifting should be done 2-3 times per week. If you lift everyday be sure to mix it up, don’t lift the same body part two days in a row. For example, if you lift upper body on Monday, Tuesday should be lower body. To build size you should lift less reps with heavier weight. For toning lift more reps with lighter weight.
It is so important to maintain some exercise routine in your life. As we age our body’s efficiency decreases in relation to fitness. Between the ages of 30 and 70 muscle mass and strength decrease about 30%. That is scary to me. Fortunately, inactivity is has the most influence, so no matter what age you are exercise can benefit you.

To learn how you can incorporate exercise into your life, whether you are a beginner or want to take your fitness to the next level fill out this form to have me as your FREE Coach to help you make that positive change in your life.

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