How long does it take to get out of shape? It depends. Generally speaking, it takes longer than you might think. For someone who works out two to three times a week, it takes two to four weeks of inactivity for there to be a notable change in your conditioning.
Regardless of your fitness level and goals, “detraining” affects different parts of your body — your cardiovascular system, your muscles and your waistline — in different ways.
The first thing to slide is your aerobic fitness. After 10 to 14 days with little or no physical activity, the body’s ability to effectively consume and use oxygen. Next is your muscles: After about four weeks off, however, muscle fibers begin to shrink, and sometime between then and eight weeks, that decline becomes measurable.
“Detraining” also affects your waistline. If you stop working out, your muscles will eventually shrink back to where they started; if you eat more calories than you burn, the extra calories are stored as fat. usually this will be notices in your waistline.
I’m Steve Taylor, Physical Therapist of Southern Physical and Occupational Therapy Services
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