What happens to your body when you stop exercising?

What happens to your body when you stop exercising?

Have you ever wondered what happens when you stop exercising?

If you practiced sports and suddenly interrupt your exercise routine (personal reasons, illness, injury…) a series of changes will occur in your body that will affect our condition physical, both in terms of strength and loss of muscle mass or muscle tone.

Cardiovascular effects

There seems to be a consensus that the loss of all improvements at the cardiovascular level begins to decrease around two weeks after stopping aerobic exercise.

Aerobic endurance adaptations are very sensitive to these drastic changes in reducing or stopping aerobic exercise, due to their enzymatic basis.

There is still no in-depth knowledge about the exact cellular mechanisms that determine the changes due to lack of training, but different authors and physiologists do point to significant changes in the decrease in maximum oxygen consumption.

In highly trained athletes, for example, maximal oxygen uptake is reduced by approximately 4 – 14%, which is outrageous, in the short term (4 weeks); reaching a reduction of 20% in the long term.

Muscle changes

Regarding the gains derived from strength training, they seem to take a little longer to fall, about 4 weeks.


Is it possible to lose strength by stopping training?

After this time, the loss of muscle strength (mainly eccentric) and power generation is observed, in addition to a lower level of muscle mass.

Slow metabolism

Physical exercise causes significant changes in body composition as well as in the hormonal systems and in the efficiency of the use of energy substrates to optimize training.

The cessation of continuous training, a priori, will mean a notable decrease in the energy generated and consumed daily.

Greater Weight

If the energy generated and consumed decreases, but the caloric intake remains the same as during periods of activity, the balance of the energy balance is broken, causing weight gain.


If stopping exercise is not followed by healthy lifestyles, the new situation will have fatal effects on body composition.< /p>

How long does it take to lose fitness?

The rate of decline in physiological adaptations linked to training when exercise is stopped will depend on the time of the person’s previous training.

In this way, if you stop exercising after 4 months of training, the loss of adaptations and performance will be rapid. In contrast, for athletes who have been training for years, the temporary cessation of training is associated with very progressive declines in adaptations and/or performance.

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Review Stop exercising

Loss of cardiovascular capacity - 100%

Loss of muscle mass - 100%

Weight gain - 100%

Time it takes to lose gains - 100%


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About Isabel del Barrio
Isabel del Barrio
Isabel del Barrio really loves sport, demonstrating it from a very young age and sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge to this day
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