Muscle strength may decrease after about three weeks off from working out.
Body fat may begin to increase after an extended break from exercise. The exact amount of time it takes to gain back body fat varies from person to person, depending on things like genetics, predispositions and the amount of muscle a person has. This happens because as you lose muscle mass, your metabolism begins to slow down, which makes it more difficult for your body to burn fat. An increase in body fat is also connected with your eating habits.
Finally getting back into it
Set Realistic Goals: Before you even begin, set attainable and achievable goals. Ask yourself how many days a week you can commit to working out, how many pounds you are looking to shed, or a new record time for that 3-mile run. Setting incremental goals gives you something to work toward and can help maintain focus.
Take it easy: Now that you are ready, don’t overdo it by jumping straight into your old routine after taking a long break. Doing too much too soon can become overwhelming for your mind and body to process. Start out with low-intensity exercises so that you can introduce your body to physical activity and slowly rebuild strength and endurance. If your body is not used to heavy lifting or extreme periods of cardio you can experience injury or a quick burnout. Additionally, it may feel intimidating and defeating.
Stretch it out: When you get back into your routine, it’s normal for your body to feel weak or stiff. Stretching is the perfect warm-up to keep muscles flexible and strong. Without flexibility, muscles can become weak and tight and joints can lose their mobility. This can increase the risk of joint pain, pulled muscles, strains, and even more serious injuries.
Cardio: Walking, running, a bike ride or even a quick 20-minute session on the elliptical are all forms of cardio. Choose something that you enjoy that makes it easy to get back into your fitness routine. Cardio burns a lot of calories and improves metabolism. It gets the blood pumping and strengthens the heart and muscles.
Strength Training: Rebuilding your strength is a crucial and helpful step as you get back into the swing of things. Strength training can increase bone density, increase your metabolism and help you burn calories. Building your strength will gradually result in better balance, a toned body, and healthy muscles.
Focus on Form: Your form is an extremely important component in avoiding possible injury. Make sure you are intentional with your movements, breathing, and form so that you rebuild any muscle memory lost during your time off.
Get into a Routine: Be consistent and it will come back to you! Managing a steady routine will make the entire process easier from start to finish. Once you are there, maintain a solid exercise routine that fits your lifestyle & schedule. For example, choosing a consistent time of day to exercise really helps us stick to our goals.