Have you taken some time off from working out? Maybe a few days, weeks, months, or years (yikes!)? Find out how your body responds to these breaks.
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If you’re like me, you think that once you get the hang of something or once you find out you are good at something, that you can drop off from it on occasion, then later just pick right up where you left off. For many people, that is actually a true statement. It’s like your brain can just pick right back up from where you left off without missing a beat. For me, that’s how it is with tennis. I can go for years at a time without playing, but when I step back out on the court, it just all comes back as if I never stopped regularly playing.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to dropping off from working out. I am actually one of the first to admit that I thought I could beat the odds. I had just had my daughter in January and knew I wasn’t going to waste any time getting back in shape and into the swing of running again. Honestly, I just missed it. I remember clear as crystal how my first time went back on the treadmill. I was running on the treadmill in my mother in law’s home gym, and I was feeling pretty good about myself for the first, maybe 10 minutes. I remember looking at the timer on the treadmill and once it said 18:45, I thought to myself, “If I can just make it another minute…”.
I didn’t make it a minute.
I actually ran to the bathroom and puked. I was dizzy and sick and just feeling awful. I was also SO confused. I mean, I was running every single day up until I was 5 months pregnant. How could I not manage to continue for a full 20 minutes? Not even that, why did I have to get sick?
Our bodies get into a routine and become acclimated to our efforts. If we are routinely lifting weights and using the weighted resistance machines to get stronger, it becomes a habit. Once you fall out of a habit (especially one that is based on your physicality), it becomes increasingly harder to get your body back to the same place. For example, if you work hard for 5 months getting your arms to be toned and muscular and you are lifting heavier amounts of weight that you ever have before, but something happens in your life to prevent you from doing that for about 3-4 months… You can keep dreaming if you think that you are going to be able to lift like you previously did. If you think you can just prance back in the gym and start curling 20 pound dumbbells after taking so much time off, you are very wrong.
When it comes to picking up where you left off in the world of working out, you don’t exactly get to do just that. You may even end up having to completely start over with your progress. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was cocky and thought I could defy the odds and pick back up right where I left off. You shouldn’t be ashamed either. Just know that when it comes to working out, easing back into those routines is the way to go. Putting your body at risk for a forever kind of damage, isn’t worth trying to prove you can be as good as you once were. Slow and steady is what won the race after all!