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What Happens When You Stop Working Out?

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While regular exercise can change your body for the better—ceasing your regular workouts can have an equal and opposite effect rather quickly. According to research by the National Institutes of Health, fitness experts refer to this as “detraining,” a process that causes a partial or complete loss of anatomical, physiological and physical performance as a consequence of regular fitness training reduction or cessation. Detraining can result in decreased metabolism, weight gain, and increases in blood pressure and blood sugar. Luckily, the negatives can be quickly reversed by resuming your fitness regimen…

1. Muscle Shrinkage

According to Dr. Martin Gram, a PhD from the University of Copenhagen, although strength will remain longer than endurance if you stop weight training—muscle shrinkage can occur fairly quickly if you leave your iron-pumping workouts in the past.

Dr. Gram monitored the muscle mass decline in a group of individuals who ceased weight training and discovered the first signs of muscle mass shrinkage began appearing within 2 weeks of ceased workouts. You can rebuild your lost muscle mass, however, keep in mind that it will take longer to rebuild it compared to how long it took to lose it.

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