If you don’t exercise you lose muscle, the amount of hard work and the long hours that you put in at the gym to build it not withstanding. This is a reality most fitness enthusiasts and athletes pass through at some point in their lives or careers. A break from the daily exercise schedule could happen due to a variety of reasons – work, a prolonged illness, or an injury to some body part that virtually prevents the person from taking up heavy workouts . When such a hiatus occurs, and the body is left without much exercise for a few weeks or months, it starts to lose muscle mass slowly. In the case of the well-trained athlete, the effects of training will be evident for a few weeks or even a few months, but, it will not be the same for ordinary individuals or those with low or moderate fitness levels, who may suffer a quick erosion of muscle and endurance levels. Unfortunately, this is a biological phenomenon one cannot prevent or cure completely. The best one could do is to try to slowdown this process with some intelligent thinking and physical application.
The best and really the only way, according to experts, to avoid the loss of muscle mass during inactivity, is to do something, some light activity at least, instead of remaining idle. In some cases such as injuries, one may not be able to move even a single muscle. Elsewhere, light exercises or low activity levels are always a better choice to pep up your fitness levels. Cross training is another innovative method to boost your endurance levels. For example, if you are a runner, but you are not feeling motivated to run for a few days or even weeks, then try out something like a long walk or cycling for a change. In the same manner, swimmers, during a hiatus, can try their legs on a stair stepper and an aerobics aficionado could experiment with something like a hike in the park. For cross training, the opportunities are virtually limitless. It is just about finding a suitable alternative that suits your tastes.
As mentioned earlier, serious injuries to muscles or bones could hamper all of the prospects of trying out some workout or another physical activity to maintain the minimal muscular activity levels. On the other hand though, if it is a lighter injury, but serious enough to hinder regular exercise, you could try swimming in the pool. It will be quite interesting as well as soothing to the muscles of the hands and legs. Finally, if boredom is the factor that is pulling you back from being punctual for your daily workouts, try some other sports or activities to break the monotony of your routine. Again, there are thousands of sports and activities that can be pursued for fun or as an alternate workout regimen. Find the one that will satiate your interests fully.
Losing muscles during a time of injury or just a break from your usual exercise routine is an inevitability that cannot be overcome completely. At best, the damage can be minimized. The key to doing so is to keep your heart and muscles active by doing some activity that interests you the most. A few suggestions have already been made in the context of this article, and you, with some amount of imagination and thinking, can find other better, more suitable options for you, as well. If the reason your hiatus from daily workouts is from injury, before trying out even light activities or exercises, seek the approval of your doctor and your personal trainer. Any misadventure in such circumstances could actually make things much worse, even to a point of permanent damage to the muscles or bones. After all, workouts are for building fitness and endurance and not for damaging it.