Need some more motivation to stick to your workout schedule? New research says consistent exercise is great, but taking too much time away from physical activity, even if you’re usually active, isn’t.
The study showed that people who exercised four times a week for three months, and then didn’t work out again for nine months, didn’t show any biological signs of having exercised at all, as if the three months of consistent exercise had never happened.
When you exercise regularly, your body actually goes through some significant biological changes – good ones. They’re what ultimately make you healthier as a result of your consistent workouts. In a way, when you work out consistently, and then stop exercising for a long time, your body sort of forgets you did those workouts. Oops.
It’s a relatively small study that looked at things from a genetic perspective, and we can interpret in a few different ways. It does suggest, however, that consistency in your fitness training – not just working out on and off for a few months, giving up and trying again a year later – is essential if you want to see any kind of positive changes to your body and health.
MP’s Take: It doesn’t matter specifically what your fitness goals are. If you really want your body to change, you have to commit to some kind of fitness training. You also have to stick to it. Taking time off from training for a few days isn’t going to make that much of a difference. Weeks to months of no training pretty much makes your muscles forget what you’ve taught them, though. You could lose all the progress you’ve worked hard to achieve. There’s also something to be said here if you’re trying to get into shape and you’re struggling. It’s never too late to start training. Work your muscles and let your body show you how well it responds to regular physical activity. Prepare to feel awesome, pretty much all the time.