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Today’s blog topic is as usual, inspired by my personal situation at this very moment.

So here’s the question: what happens to your body when you stop exercising?

I have consulted Wikipedia, prevention.com, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, sciencealert.com, and todayifoundout.com to get the info I am about to present to you. So what happens besides an increase in blood pressure, grumpiness, and being winded easily?

1. Muscle mass decreases! Of course, no brainer there. At least when you start exercising again your muscles have muscle memory and can return to their previous fantastic-ness. What’s important here about muscles is that if you aren’t using them regularly, they burn less fat/energy while you are in your resting state.

2. Continuing to eat how we would while training! Many people forget that if you are not exercising regularly, you are not burning the same amounts of calories you normally would. This means you are eating too many calories and will gain body fat as your lean muscle mass withers away. If you decrease your exercise, adjust your nutrition accordingly.

3. Your LACTATE THRESHOLD decreases! This was a new word for me today. The lactate threshold (or lactate inflection point (LIP) or anaerobic threshold (AT)) is the level of exercise intensity when lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood stream. The common myth is that lactic acid buildup is what gives your muscles that lingering soreness after a hard workout. WRONG! What’s important about lactate threshold, a.k.a. anaerobic threshold:
It is a way of measuring how well your body can deliver oxygen to the muscles. So crucial to using muscles! Higher threshold = better oxygen delivery.
For you technical people out there, here is a GREAT explanation from todayifoundout.com . (The three bullets are a DIRECT QUOTE):

  • The system used by your body to give muscles their energy from the conversion of glycogen to ATP is known as an aerobic energy producing system.  The system used by your body to use glycogen converted to lactic acid, when there is very little oxygen available, is called an anaerobic energy producing system.
  • One of the single best measures of cardiovascular fitness level, or more aptly, maximum aerobic potential, is called “VO2 Max”.  This is a measure of the maximum capacity of a body to transport and utilize oxygen during exercise.   This is often measured in liters of oxygen per minute (l/min) or milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute ((ml/kg)/min).  The name comes from “Maximum Volume per time unit of O2″
  • VO2 max levels in untrained people are typically 40-60% higher in men than in women with the average VO2 max of an untrained man being around 3.5 l/min and the average VO2 max of an untrained woman being around 2.0 l/min.  Interestingly, conditioning can more than double the VO2 max in some people and in others has little affect at all.

 

4. Reduced cellular autophagy! In English please? Autophagy is the process by which a cell gets rid of excess proteins and waste. It uses this extra stuff up as energy, so your cells literally reduce, reuse, and recycle.

 

Personal Update: I am a tad frustrated with life at the moment. I was feeling better! Increased my kettlebell weight! Didn’t feel like I was dying while exercising! Then BAM! Sore swollen throat with pain when swallowing. How I caught this I do not know. Unfortunately, it was so swollen I had to stop exercising for 4 days, and ibuprofen is now my best friend. Today I had a mini private session with Coach Rish Koya. We alternated kettlebell swings with slow exercises that concentrated on ‘negative movements’. He called them isolated something something… I don’t remember… My bad.
This was nice because my body is so unfit right now, it needs me to slow down and spend some quality time with it. Damn you nature/humans making your viruses float around…

STAY HEALTHY EVERYONE! Isolate if need be!

Author Eivi P.

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