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May 15, 2023

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Working Out?

Posted In: Exercise, Fitness & Wellness

When people start working out at Prime Fitness in Totowa, NJ, they often ask how soon they’ll see results. The answer will vary, but the average person feels the difference in their body after the first week and normally sees a difference in about a month. You don’t often find people questioning what happens when they stop working out. It’s not normally planned but seems to happen without notice.

The changes that occur after you quit working out will vary by your level of fitness.

If you’ve worked out for a long time, you won’t see the difference immediately. People who just started a workout program or who have worked out for just a few months have different results. It won’t take long before their body loses all the ground they’ve gained. For the veterans of exercise, suddenly stopping has different consequences. Endurance and cardio fitness fall off fast. It can take a week or so for that to occur, but you’ll still be fitter than the new-to-exercise person.

Losing muscle and strength takes longer.

It takes two to eight weeks to experience improvements in muscles and strength. The amount of time varies by gender, age, and starting point. If you’re working out regularly and doing strength training a couple of times a week, not much happens to your muscle mass in a few weeks devoid of exercise. People who are ripped or who have significant muscle mass may skip as much as ten weeks without much loss.

There’s a psychological toll to pay when you suddenly quit exercising.

Exercise can do a lot to lift spirits. Therapists and doctors who often use it as an adjunct have long touted the benefits of exercise for improving mood. It can burn off stress hormones and release those that make you feel good. It also suppresses the hormones responsible for depression. If you quit working out, it can cause you to feel mentally out of sorts, and sometimes grumpy, overreactive and stressed.

  • Starting back after a hiatus from strength training can create a feeling of weakness or out of sync, at least for the first few sessions after taking time off. Start back slowly for several weeks and build up to your previous routine.
  • If you’re a runner, you’ll immediately notice significant diminished aerobic performance in the first three weeks of hiatus, but the losses start to slow after that for the seasoned runner. Beginners may see any gains wiped out after a four to eight-week period.
  • Older individuals lose aerobic gains and muscle mass much faster than younger people. The group losing the most when they quit exercising is older women.
  • If you continue consuming the same number of calories you did when you exercised, you’ll probably notice a slow but steady weight gain. Loss of muscle tissue slows your metabolism, causing weight gain to be even more dramatic.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio