What Happens to Your Body When You Suddenly Stop Exercising?

Are you also the one who does regular workouts and then suddenly stops it? Let us face the truth – yes, it is true with almost everybody around because exercising regularly is a bit of a difficult task. Most people never enter a gym, nor do they become so obsessed with running marathons. And even those who end up going for exercise at some point in their lives – suddenly stop it due to laziness or any injury or maybe any other circumstances.

It is not any special thing that we see athletes quickly run out of their shape once they get retired from their professional sports. And this effect is known as detraining, which causes some physiological changes in the human body. There are different ranges of measurements for recognizing a person’s fitness levels – some of these are more subjective, like how many pushups a person can do in a minute or how long you can hold a plank with some other particular tests. This can check out your endurance and muscle strength.

Apart from subjective measurements, more objective measures, like maximal oxygen (VO2) uptake evaluate the highest oxygen volume your body can consume for cellular respiration generating adenosine in return. It is the molecule that carries energy for all our biological needs, which can be simplified as VO2 max usually reflects your aerobic power and cardiovascular fitness. 

So what will happen when you suddenly stop working out?

When you suddenly stop your regular or everyday exercise routines, the body stops doing many valuable things. However, as per research, it is found that regular endurance training like running raises your ability to pump blood around your body along with blood vessels’ ability to transport the blood. It also raises your mitochondria’s size and number, which are usually named as power plants of cells leading to more effective oxygen and nutrients in our body.

What are the benefits hindered due to this sudden action?

Other benefits such as muscle strength, flexibility, core mobility, and coordination have diverse impacts. When we stop our bodies from engaging in physical activities, it usually causes all those fitness measures to decline (the process called deconditioning or detraining). And you know what – “The fitter you are, the faster your abilities are for losing the benefits of exercise.”

Though, if your baseline fitness remains better than average, you apply to those losses if you suddenly stop your exercise routines. First to go is your VO2 max, and before you know this, your stamina, coordination, and muscle strength also decline following it. There might also occur a rise in blood sugar levels or blood pressure.

Noticing results of decline percentage of VO2 after 12 days, 50 days, and 80 days – some researchers say – 

It is seen that around 7 to 10 percent of VO2 decline after 12 days of a sudden stop, approximately 14 to 15 percent after 50 days, and about 16 to 18 percent after 80 days. Also, the most significant disadvantage you can get is weight gain. So, yes, it is true. 

Muscle cells usually don’t convert into fat – it is a common myth you might have heard. But, do you know what happens with your muscle cells? Those cells are entirely different from your fat cells, which decrease in size because now you and your body do not demand strength or power – so they stop growing. And on the other hand, your fat cells grow more prominent, causing a change in your appearance.

Now you might be thinking not to start exercising at first – 

If detraining is so bad for us, are we better off not to start exercising in the first place? No. A non-exercising lifestyle is far more detrimental compared to even infrequent exercise. But if you want to ignore the health benefits you get by pushing your body in positively stressful and sweaty activities, it is best to go for regular workouts. Make a goal of 300 minutes a week. That’s it.Maybe now you are aware of how much you and your body are in loss, right? So stop doing such sudden things with your body. Because in terms of our fitness, it is considered a physiological accident to our body when we suddenly stop doing workouts and exercise. Be regular and frequent.

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