What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Exercising?
Life happens. You might start off with the best of intentions, but when life gets in the way, you may end up falling off the exercise wagon, unable to continue. This is one of the reasons why many people seem to be on a continuous rollercoaster of losing and gaining weight. When we have spent a sufficient amount of time exercising with good results, stopping it altogether can cause us to lose the progress we have made. What happens to your body when you stop exercising depends largely on how long you have been exercising for as well as for how long you have stopped.
If your exercise sessions comprise strength training and cardio for at least five days a week, when you stop exercising you will find that your muscles get softer and your body starts expanding. Your previously flat tummy might protrude, and unsightly bumps and cellulite might become visible on your back. Your stamina will eventually decrease, and you might find yourself huffing and puffing when you walk a short distance at a fast speed whereas previously you jogged comfortably without feeling out of breath. You might find your flexibility and endurance have also suffered as a result.
Though you were firm and skinny before, due to ceasing exercise your fat cells might become bigger while your muscles reduce in size. The results you gained from exercise might gradually reverse until you are back to how you were before you started working out. When you see these changes in your body, they might make you dread losing all of your hard-earned results. It might also make you reluctant to start all over again due to the fact that the weight might all come back when you stop exercising.
However, if you have been exercising religiously, you might not lose all the benefits if you stop exercising. Your endurance will never return to that of your pre-exercise body. It will remain higher than those who have never worked out in their lives. Therefore, you will not lose all your efforts. However, your appearance might start looking softer and will worsen if your lack of activity prolongs. If you have been working at a moderate intensity, you are likely to retain your stamina and endurance for three weeks or so before losing it all.
Fortunately, there is a way you can retain your muscle size and your endurance, and not gain a lot of the weight back, if you are forced to stop exercising for personal reasons. You can carry out a complete bodyweight training session once or twice per week, and you will be able to retain your progress, as opposed to when you stop exercising completely.
You must start with your workouts again if you do not want to slide back to your previous weight and body. This is the only solution. The longer you do not exercise, the worse you will feel—and probably look—compared to your appearance while you were working out.