It takes a while to lose fitness, it takes a while to regain it
Its January now and behind us are the reasons to miss workouts, sleep in a bit more and chow down on the left over holiday food. (Here is news: you can throw it away. You don’t have to eat it)
Probably you have missed a few workouts and packed on a few pounds, and are eager to get back to your regular self.
Getting back on the bandwagon should provoke questions about how hard you should working to get back to yourself and avoid an injury or worse yet, burn out by attempting to maintain a high level of fitness for too long of time.
Here are a few anatomical facts to help you.
A maintenance phase of at least 6 weeks a year is highly recommended. Pushing hard year round will hurt you in the long run. So, don’t feel guilty about slacking off.
It takes 3 weeks to lose fitness. If you missed one or two workouts a week during those times, you likely may have lost some fitness, but not as much as you may think. As you work out regularly now, you may breath a bit harder and your heart rate may increase some, but likely you did should not have lost any speed or endurance.
After 3 weeks, you may lose 5-10% of your fitness each week.
Your recovery will take as long as you were inactive. If you have been a slacker for the past 6 weeks, look forward to 6 weeks of suffering until you regain your fitness. I suppose those numbers may be influenced negatively by age.
Worse yet, if you have been inactive for 3 years, you will start from scratch. I have not read anything about “muscle memory” in any anatomy or physiology book or study. You retain skill and confidence, but the deterioration is still there. Hopefully that will be a bit of a motivator to get up and get moving.
5 pounds will cost you 20 seconds per mile on the run. Ouch! I hope those cookies were worth it! Running more likely will not help you get the extra weight off. Limiting hand to mouth disease will. Plus, the extra weight bouncing around is painful and damaging to your body. Want to run faster? Eat less food.
The Good News
Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself. I have seen many amazing recoveries where people have been out for 6 months or a year on several occasions and come back to be as strong as they were as if they didn’t miss a day. Your body will do what your brain and mind tell it to do based on what you believe about yourself and how hard and smart you work.
Your confidence in your ability to get stuff done is the limiting factor. Not all of us are as anatomically gifted as others, but with persistence, a made up mind and grit, you too can be on the podium of accomplishing your dreams!
“If you think you can or can’t, your right” Henry Ford (I think)
Phil Kriss is Kriss Chiropractic - An RTB sponsor and an active, fun member of the team. You can read more of his ramblings at his blog HERE
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