How Long Will It Take To Get Fit Again?
Taking a break from exercise is a common experience for many people. Perhaps you got busy with work or school, had an injury, or simply lost motivation. Whatever the reason, you may now be wondering about the comeback and how long it will take to get fit again. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including how long you were inactive, your current fitness level, and your exercise routine.
The first thing to understand is that the length of your layoff will affect how long it takes to regain your fitness. If you’ve been inactive for just a few weeks or a couple of months, you may be surprised at how quickly you can get back to where you were. Your muscles have a memory of sorts, so if you were previously in good shape, your comeback won’t take long and you may get back to that level of fitness fairly quickly.
The Longer The Layoff - The Longer The Comeback
However, if you’ve been inactive for six months or more, it will take longer to get fit again. According to the American Council on Exercise, you can expect to lose about 5 to 10 percent of your fitness level every month you’re inactive. So if you were previously in good shape, it could take several months to get back to that level. The good news is that it’s never too late to start exercising again. Even if you’ve been inactive for a year or more, you can still make progress towards your fitness goals. The key is to start slowly and build up gradually.
Before you start exercising again, it’s important to get clearance from your doctor, especially if you have any health issues or concerns. Once you’ve been given the green light, start with low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or cycling. These activities will help you build endurance and improve your cardiovascular fitness without putting too much stress on your joints.
As you start to feel more comfortable with these activities, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. You might add some strength training exercises, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges, to build muscle and improve your overall fitness. Aim for a mix of cardio and strength training exercises to get the most benefit.
One mistake many people make when starting an exercise program after a long layoff is to do too much too soon. They might try to run a 5K or do an intense workout class right away, without giving their bodies time to adjust. This can lead to injury or burnout, which will delay your comeback even further.
Start Slow And Build Your Routine
Start with shorter workouts and gradually increase the time and intensity. For example, you might start with a 10-minute walk and gradually increase the time by five minutes each week until you’re walking for 30 minutes or more. Or you might start with one or two strength training exercises and gradually add more as you feel comfortable.
Another important factor to consider is your nutrition. Exercise alone is not enough to get fit; you also need to eat a healthy, balanced diet to support your fitness goals. Aim for a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
The length of time it takes to get fit again after a long layoff depends on several factors, including how long you were inactive, your current fitness level, and your exercise routine. If you’ve been inactive for just a few weeks or months, you can expect to regain your fitness relatively quickly. However, if you’ve been inactive for six months or more, it will take longer to get back to your previous level of fitness.
After Your Comeback – Aim Higher
The key to getting fit after a long layoff is to start slowly and build up gradually. Don’t try to do too much too soon, and be sure to give your body time to adjust to your new routine. With patience, persistence, and a healthy lifestyle, you can regain the level you had before and then take it beyond. And your comeback doesn't have to stop there. Set new goals to reach an even higher level of fitness than where you left off. Good luck!
RX Fitness Is Here To Help
If you're about to restart your fitness program after a long break and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works with hundreds of personal trainers, coaches and physical therapists. We'd be happy to connect you with someone who can help. Or just stop by one of our three store locations and ask all the questions you want. We're here to help. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.