You signed up for that gym membership or tackled a new fitness regimen. Then it happens… You find yourself unmotivated to hit the gym early in the morning or after a long day’s work. And although the workout effects on the body you gained are extremely beneficial, stopping workouts can actually backtrack all those efforts. We’re discussing what happens when you stop working out and what you can do about it!

What Happens When You Start and Stop Working Out

Workouts benefit the body in a wide variety of ways, encompassing both physical and mental health. Most individuals turn to exercise to lose weight, primarily reducing fat mass and increasing lean body mass. A healthy body weight further lessens the likelihood of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Exercise, especially paired with strength training, can further support both bone and digestive health. And when it comes to mental health, consistent exercise has shown to reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and can reduce Alzheimer’s and dementia risk further down the road.

The health benefits of working out seem pretty attractive, right? Compared to the effects when you stop working out, sticking to a consistent exercise pattern appears even more enticing. Although the effects are primarily dependent on prior training leading up to the subsided workouts, individuals may experience a drop in endurance, even within a short two-week span! Following reduced aerobic capacity generally follows altered brain function, reduced sleep quality, and eventually lost muscle mass and strength.

How to Get Back into Working Out

You, like many others, have probably dealt with the stresses of life and the pressures of trying to maintain a workout regimen. But if you fall off the horse, saddle back up with these tips:

1. Easy Does It

Though workouts should not necessarily be easy, ease your body back into exercise. Despite the ability to endure intense workouts leading up to their absence, taking a few weeks or months off may have reduced the body’s aerobic and strengthening capacity. Overdoing it can cause injury and may further disrupt workouts that much more.

2. Plan for It

While making a mental note to workout in the morning or following a workday is encouraged, your mentality may need an extra boost to actually get you to follow through. Having tennis shoes laying out or a bag packed with workout essentials can be an extra influence to get you to the gym. If needed in the morning, set your alarm across the room. Getting off to turn off the sound will reduce the risk of crawling back and staying in bed!

3. Exercise Buddy

Though you are the only one that can physically conquer a workout, an exercise buddy can assist in getting you to the gym. Having someone to workout with not only acts as a motivator, but increases accountability, too.

4. Experiment

You may have stopped working out related to burnout. Whether it be running countless miles on a treadmill or hitting the gym only to utilize the same workout equipment, doing so can start losing your attention. Start experimenting with various workouts, including spinning and cycling, yoga, dancing, and even hiking!

5. Have Fun!

Despite the extensive list of benefits exercise has on health, workouts should continually feel both physically and mentally rewarding. Workouts effect on the body would ultimately not exist without getting out there, conquering your exercises, and having fun with it! The combination of working out with a buddy or experimenting with workouts can ultimately entice and accelerate exercise appeal!