Don’t let anyone tell you they have never missed a day or messed up. Everyone out there has skipped a workout at some point and has definitely had something happen in their life to where they couldn’t work out. It’s easy to take a few days off but sometimes those few days turn into a week and before you know it you haven’t worked out in a few weeks because of how crazy your life/schedule has gotten. I am a huge believer in giving your body the break it needs and cutting yourself some slack when something like this happens. It’s not easy! Once this happens to you, I’m sure you get in a total panic and say, “what the heck did I do?! I lost everything.” The big question is, how long does is actually take to lose your progress?
First things first, if you’ve been an avid exerciser for the past year and working out regularly, you shouldn’t experience much loss because of how much muscle you already have and in shape you are to begin with. With you getting back in the groove and working out after your long break – your muscle memory is pretty solid. It will be a lot easier to bounce back if you’ve been working out on the regular before this long break.
There is a big difference between taking a long break due to a sickness rather than just feeling fine and taking off of working out for a while. When you are sick, your body is going through extreme measures to bounce back and get healthy again. With your body fighting your sickness, it is under a lot of stress while doing this. You will start to lose your strength after two to three weeks. Coming back after a sickness is tough. If you read one of my latest blog posts HERE about how to bounce back after being sick – I go more in detail on what you should do and how you should slowly start getting your strength back. If you aren’t sick and just something in your life made it not possible for you to workout, it could take four to even six weeks to lose a solid amount of strength. If you are totally fine the best thing you can do during your break is walk regularly and do light movements. When you are jumping back into working out it may feel like the end of the world and you are just totally out of shape. That may not be the case though. Your body needs to re-adapt to the exercises so it may be a little hard starting out but after a week or two of getting back in the groove of things, you should feel almost back to 100%.
I am SUPER proud of you for deciding to make new habits. It’s tough and super easy to fall off the bandwagon when you are a beginner. If you fall out of place try your hardest to get back on it. When you are a beginner the most important time during your fitness journey is the first six to twelve weeks. During that time period, if you are consistent, you will see the most progress. When you are new to exercise it’s so easy to make gains and make them fast.
With all that being said here are some tips you can use when you are on that break so you don’t totally lose it all:
Watch what you are eating! Eating well will help you maintain your current weight and will help you avoid any unwanted weight gain. When you are filling your body with great foods, you won’t feel as bad during your break.. You will feel amazing!
I’m talking light cardio as in walking. A lot of us don’t walk enough so be sure to go out of your way to get a few extra steps in. Deciding to go on a walk could even spark a little ‘UMPH’ in you to get in a short workout, it does for me!
It’s easy to beat yourself up for falling off your workout grind. You have to make the most out of your break. If you do any of the tips I mentioned above you may get in the grove again and be ready to start back up. Stay positive and re-evaluate your program. If you aren’t sick and just fell off, look into the program you were in and see if it’s seriously the best program for you and your lifestyle. Most of us fall off the bandwagon because we jump into cutting everything out so quickly and working out so much we can’t keep up that total lifestyle switch. Start slow so it can be long lasting.
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