Use it or Lose it: Muscles

The holidays are creeping up faster than you can say PLEASE STAY AWAY. Friends and family come from across the country, and working out becomes less a priority. When your clothes still fit, and things don’t seem to be changing much due to the lack of regular physical activity, what is there to worry about? When you don’t notice a change from going without the gym for a week, you try to convince yourself that you can make it through the full holiday season without putting in the gym time. After all, how long does it take to get out of shape?

Sadly, as much as we would like to convince ourselves that we don’t need to work out, “we look fine,” fitness is a use it or lose it type of endeavor. The more days taken off, the more noticeable the fitness loss becomes. The golden rule to follow is, “It takes twice as long to get into shape, than to get out of shape.”
One small tip that many people do not know is that cardio loss and strength loss occur at a completely different rate. If you exercise regularly, you will notice a difference in strength in about 4 weeks. With cardio, it’ll only take two weeks before seeing a difference. Having general knowledge about what happens when we decide to quit working out can be a great motivator to stay physical.

10-14 DAYS: Cardio is affected and the body’s ability to consume oxygen is decreased.
4 WEEKS: Strength is affected, and muscle fiber begins to shrink.
4-8 WEEKS: Strength is affected on a greater level, and the decline of strength is substantial.