What Happens If You Stop Exercising

In an effort to show you the powerful effects of consistency with exercise and physical activity I want to depict the opposite scenario. I mean… Have you ever wondered what would happen to your body if you stopped exercising for a month? How about a year? What if you never worked out again? In today’s video, I want to go over the physiological and psychological effects of never working out again and my goal is to hopefully show you the benefits of doing the exact opposite and staying consistent. And for all of you advanced people out there you may want to stick with me through this video because the fitter you are the faster you tend to lose the benefits of exercise. The technical term for stopping exercise for an extended period of time is known by experts as “detraining” and there’s a couple thing that happens when you go through this process.

One of the very first things to change is your blood vessels. In fact, according to a study done at the University of Connecticut, your blood vessels will adapt to your change in activity levels within only two weeks. According to this study, the effects on your blood vessels are so great that after just a month of stopping exercise your blood pressure could go back to the same levels that it would be at if you never were exercising, to begin with. This study kind of shocked me because I always thought that you would maintain at least your cardiovascular benefits for longer, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Now I’m sure if any of you are like some of my clients I can see a lot of people getting demotivated by this fact and being like “what’s the point” right? If you take a month off your blood pressure shoots right back up what’s the point? Well, that’s true, but according to those standards, I would then argue “what’s the point of showering, or brushing your teeth After 24 hours you have to do it again… every day. Or else you’re gonna stink. Let’s look at what happens next. Obviously, if your blood vessels change it makes it a lot harder to use oxygen as efficiently. One of the very first things to go down is your VO2 Max which is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise. It’s important to note that VO2 max doesn’t just give us an idea of how good your aerobic capacity is with intense exercise, but it also will reflect across all forms of cardiovascular activity.

So….. you know…. when you come back to the gym after going on vacation for a week or two or just taking some time off…everything seems to get you super winded and your heart rate feels very high even from things that felt pretty simple a few weeks earlier. Well, that’s one of the drawbacks of your VO2 Max declining. Studies indicate that after just 12 days it’ll decline by 7 to 10 percent. And that’s a light estimate some studies report that after just 2 weeks VO2 max can decline by twenty percent. And believe me, you’ll feel even a seven percent decline so that’s a lot. The reason why this happens when you stop exercising is that you lose mitochondria. These are mini-factories within your muscle cells that convert oxygen into energy. One study reported that after just 2 weeks of inactivity the muscle mitochondrial content decreased as much as 6 weeks of endurance training increased it. So 6 weeks of work for 2 weeks of rest…That’s a big bummer.

Next, your blood sugar levels are going to spike up, and if you’ve been watching my videos for a little while now you know that not only does that lead to health problems, but high blood sugar also triggers insulin and fat storage. Normally when you exercise the food that you ate is used as fuel for your workouts, that’s why you’re always hearing about maintaining an energy balance between diet and exercise. When you no longer exercise, but you continue to fuel your body with food it’s like continuously filling a car that’s sitting in the park. You hit a point known as spillover except, unlike the parked car you won’t have fuel spilling over on the ground. That spillover happens inside your body and the extra fuel spills over into your fat cells. Your body will first use that blood sugar to replenish depleted glucose in your muscle tissue and then your liver. But once those are full it’s got nowhere to go except fat cells. To make matters worse after just a week of not exercising your muscles mitochondrial activity in your muscle cells slow down making your metabolism slower. So you’re not only burning less from a lack of activity but your resting metabolic rate drops.

To learn how my clients are transforming their bodies permanently with simple food adjustments and life changes:

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My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first gym in 2011, Gravity Training Zone. I'm now in the process of opening up my third location! I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 1,000,000 subscribers! I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to support@gravitychallenges.com

Founder // Gravity Transformation, Max Posternak