You’re doing great. You have been working out 4 days a week consistently for the past three months. You are eating better, sleeping great, and feeling awesome. And then…something happens to shake that routine. Maybe you have 2 days of out of town meetings, or you get sick, or life interrupts you in some other way. Before you know it, it has been 2 months since you hit the gym. What happens to all those days and months of hard work and commitment? It turns out that it depends on just how good of shape you were in before your interruption. If you have been working out for more than 8 weeks and consider yourself fit, after three months of doing nothing, you will still have 50% of your aerobic gains. Not bad. If you are a newbie to the gym, it just takes 2 months to lose it all.
Wow, that’s motivation to stay at it. And the answer to the question you don’t want to ask? We are all different so it is hard to say how long to get back what you lost. It can take up to 3 months to regain what is lost in 3 months off. Three main reasons for interruption of routines are lack of time, travel, and illness or injury. There are ways to adapt when any of these get in the way. If you are short on time, choose a workout that gives you a lot of bang for a little time like high intensity cardio intervals, Tabata intervals, or a strength circuit. If you are traveling, plan a body weight workout that can be done in your hotel room, at a local park, or in the hotel gym. Illness and injury can be more difficult to work through but not impossible. Staying active at a lower intensity can help you maintain all you have worked so hard to gain.
Things happen in life to throw us a curve ball every now and then. Though it may be challenging to maintain your complete fitness routine during these times, try your best to stay active so when life settles down, you can hop right back in. If you really just can’t workout, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remind yourself of why you workout and the benefits you get from being active and when you can…do it!
AUTHOR: Rebecca Liggon