It’s so easy to do. You go a for a short Feb break to escape the outdoor arctic conditions. Or you have a bit too much fun at the weekend because you thought you could handle the hangover as well as you did at 21.
Whatever the reason, you end up going from three workout days in one week to absolutely nothing the next.
And once that happens, it’s a slippery slope to that oh so encouraging “we miss you” email from your gym.
Two factors affect the degree of damage: how fit you were pre-break, and how long you’ve been off the rails.
WONDERING HOW TO GET BACK INTO EXERCISE
AFTER A BREAK?
Studies show that VO2 max – aka your cardio capacity – can drop by 7% after just 12 inactive days and 20% after four weeks off, making it difficult to work out even if you know how to get back into exercise after break.
How to get back into exercise, then? Well, muscle strength fibres tend to be more forgiving, hanging tough for about a month (though the specialised fibres can weaken more quickly). So try doing strength work rather than too much cardio.
But PT Harry Jameson points to another performance killer: weight gain.
“It’s not always a massive drop off in your fitness, but physically carrying more weight that can make it tough to get going again” he says, especially if you’ve taken a break to go on holiday or indulge in a weekend of debauchery.
The best recovery plan? “Set yourself a performance related goal – like training for a 10k – rather than a weight goal, and your fitness and aesthetics will fall into place,” Jameson says.
Well you know how to get back into exercise, so get going.
Looking to get back into fitness? Try the grip tip for weights tweak to make your workouts more efficient and read about the best exercise for burning calories.