There are many reasons you might want to take a break from working out. Whether it’s a vacation, illness or injury, a closed gym – or if you just don’t feel like it! What happens during your time off from exercising regularly? How fast do you lose hard-earned muscle mass? What can you do to keep your body feeling good while you’re recharging?
How to take a break from working out: what you should know
A break in a workout routine, sometimes known as detraining, does have an effect on your efforts. The difference depends on your fitness level, as well as how long a time you take off. You’ll mostly see changes in endurance, muscle mass, and strength. Fat gain isn’t necessarily linked to time off from exercising, since your body only stores fat if you eat significantly more calories than you consume. We’ll explain below why a calorie deficit can actually accelerate your muscle loss.
Endurance is the first thing that suffers from an extended break. After a few days, your endurance performance will start to decline. (1) If your hiatus lasts longer than four weeks, it can drop down pretty significantly. Your lung capacity can weaken by as much as 20%. (2)
Don’t worry, your gains won’t disappear overnight. Here’s how muscular degradation happens, though. In the first 1-2 weeks of inactivity, muscle tone decreases and glycogen levels lower, meaning your muscle cells store less water. As a result, your muscles look smaller. But this isn’t muscle loss! Short breaks in training don’t lead directly to muscle loss. (3)
#1 Protein, protein, protein
Your muscles are largely made up of protein. Not only do they need it to grow; it also protects them from losing tone! Regardless of how much you’re moving, it’s important to cover your protein needs to keep a healthy lifestyle. Try to eat about 1.5g per kilogram of body weight every day.
Our tip: Protect yourself during your workout break! Our shakes not only taste delicious, they support your muscles with 24 grams of protein per serving.
Try to integrate more movement into your everyday life. If you’re on vacation, explore your surroundings on foot or take a few laps in the pool. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stay active!
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