Does Taking Weeks Off Have an Impact on Your Fitness Level?

Are you like me and start beating yourself up over missing a few days of working.  Maybe you did some traveling over the Thanksgiving break or are planning to travel and take some time off over Christmas break.  Does it have an impact?  Does it demise the training you’ve been doing.  Most experts agree that after two weeks, you’re in trouble if you don’t get back in the gym.  “At the two week point without exercising, there are a multitude of physiological markers that naturally reveal a reduction of fitness level,” says Scott Weiss, C.S.C.S, a New York-based exercise physiologist and trainer who works with elite athletes.

Also interesting is that “speed, endurance, and strength can decrease by 25 to 30 percent within two to three weeks,” says Weiss.  

One more interesting thing that Weiss mentioned is: Both aerobic and strength training boost the neurotransmitter brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps promote the growth of new brain cells and enhances connections between existing ones. Some research even links low levels of BDNF to depression. “This makes exercise an important part of maintaining cognitive function,” he says.  

It’s better to get in a few short, high-intensity workouts than skipping completely.  A little something is always better than nothing and it will help slow the decline.  If you are traveling over the holidays, please let me know and I will provide you with some workouts that you can do in the gym or anywhere. 


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