(CARLSBAD, CA) – Whew! Life is busy. You just got a new promotion at work. Your kids are playing two different sports, not to mention music and art lessons. Your parents are coming to visit next month. Before you know it, you haven’t been to your exercise class in weeks.
If you’re like most women, you’re not looking forward to huffing and puffing your way back into shape when you return from your exercise hiatus. Unfortunately, while it seemingly takes eons to reach your target fitness level, it takes sheer weeks to fall out of shape.
If you’ve taken a little time off from exercise, it’s important to get back into your fitness routine as soon as possible. The longer you stay out of the fitness habit, the harder it will be to get back on track.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett has been a leader in the fitness industry for more than 40 years. She answers these common questions about falling out of shape and how to get back on the fitness bandwagon.
How quickly can I fall out of shape?
It depends upon your fitness level and how long you’ve been training. Obviously, fitter individuals will see less of a decrease in their aerobic capacity and strength when taking a break than novice exercisers. As a general rule, you will begin to notice less aerobic power after just two weeks of non-exercise.
What does it mean to fall out of shape?
Falling out of shape essentially means that you lose the cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance progress that you made when you were exercising. Typically, when taking a break from exercise, you will experience decreased cardiovascular endurance before loss of strength. According to the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research in Dallas, you’ll lose 10 percent of your aerobic capacity after only two weeks of inactivity. If you take a break lasting more than six to eight weeks, you’re back to square one.
How do I get back on track?
Here’s the good news: If you were in good shape prior to taking your exercise hiatus, then you’re much better off than those who have never exercised. The best way to get back on track is to simply start moving. You may not be able to push yourself to the same difficulty level as you once did, so start at your current ability level and gradually increase your intensity from there.
Is it ever okay to take a break?
Absolutely! If you’ve been pushing yourself extra hard for weeks on end, then you probably need a break. Typically, a few days are all you need. Any more than that, and you may lose some of your progress.
How do I keep from falling out of shape when I’m strapped for time?
You don’t have to log fifteen hours on the treadmill every week to stay in shape. If you’re busy, seek to burn more calories in less time. Harvard University researchers studied more than 30,000 women and found that the overall number of calories burned is more important than the actual number of hours spent exercising. So, if you’re strapped for time, just increase your intensity level, and burn more calories in a shorter time span.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. For more than 40 years, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive fitness program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.