There comes a moment in the lives of most athletes when staying active becomes difficult and the urge to quit begins to feel overwhelming. Whether it’s due to a lack of motivation, a busy schedule, or slow results, just know that it is completely normal. Nonetheless, it is important to find alternatives to maintain an active lifestyle.
All it takes is one to two weeks of no exercise to start feeling the negative impacts. Exercise helps keep enough blood flowing through the brain, which promotes certain cognitive functions, such as memory. Of course, the negative effects may vary from person to person. They include difficulty staying focused, difficulty sleeping, and even unusual mood swings.
By the second week of inactivity, you might begin to experience a decrease in your cardiovascular capacity and endurance. As a result, daily activities may make you winded more often (e.g. going up stairs, carrying heavy objects, playing with children, etc.). If you go even longer without exercise, your cardiovascular capacity could drop by 15–20% over three months.
After three weeks of no exercise, you will generally see a significant decrease in muscle strength and athletic performance. You will also notice progressive muscle atrophy, decreased bone density, and loss of flexibility. Furthermore, if you do not adjust your diet, you may start gradually gaining weight due to the storage of excess energy in the form of fat.
Happy training and happy holidays to all!