What Taking a 2-Week Break from Working Out Really Does to Your Body



Exercise is beneficial to our bodies and minds in so many ways. In the age of Netflix, though, it’s often easy to let fitness fall a few notches on the priority list. Rest days are essential to any workout regimen, helping your body recoup and muscles repair themselves post-workout. But, can too many rest days have negative health effects? Read on to find out exactly what happens after not squeezing in a sweat sesh for two weeks!

Researchers from the European Association for the Study of Obesity observed the effects of 14 days of physical inactivity among normally-active subjects. The results are even more surprising than you might think! The study included 28 healthy people with an average age of 25. Each subject was tested regularly throughout the study to measure their overall health, and none of the subjects changed their eating habits for the duration of the study.

The bad news: After just 14 days of inactivity, Dr. Cuthbertson, who led the study, concluded: "In a group of physically active, healthy young individuals that met the recommended physical activity guidelines, just 14 days of increased sedentary behaviour resulted in small but significant reductions in fitness that were accompanied by reductions in muscle mass and increases in body fat. Such changes can lead to chronic metabolic disease and premature mortality. The results emphasize the importance of remaining physically active, and highlight the dangerous consequences of continuous sedentary behaviour.”

The good news: When the study’s participants went back to their normal, healthy lifestyles after the two weeks were over, their health markers returned to normal as well. “The effects were entirely reversible,” Cuthbertson says. “So it’s fine if you’re fit and well and you go on holiday for two weeks and then you get right back to normal.”

The bottom line: Physical activity is key to preventing countless diseases and helping us live long, healthy lives. For example, just 20 minutes of daily activity (like walking) can be more effective and longer-lasting than taking prescription anti-depressants. Working out at HSM | Core a few times a week is a safe and efficient way to prioritize what matters most — your health!

To read more about this study, click here!