What's the harm in skipping a few weeks of exercise?

Skipping exercise for just a few days can easily lead to a few weeks followed by a few months. It can be a slippery slope and as the weather gets colder and our schedules become tighter, you need to have time carved out of your schedule to do some activity. 

  • If you are watching TV, take an exercise break during the commercial, jog in place or
  • hold a plank during the length of a commercial and rest during the next then repeat alternating planks with rest.
  • The push-up is a fantastic exercise that can be done anywhere and with no equipment that targets the upper body all in one exercise. You can start by doing standing wall pushups, proceed to pushups on the floor on your knees, followed by challenging yourself with pushups on your toes.

Studies have shown that you can maintain your body weight by performing as little as 80 minutes of physical activity per week, that's just  a little over 10 minutes per day! 

In my humble opinion, I would opt to do 20-30 minutes per day or moderate physical activity for 5 days per week. With the holidays just around the corner, we can all use a reduction in stress and time out for ourselves, and exercise will do just the trick, so keep moving and don't take a vacation from caring for your.

Dawn Marcus
Ever wonder if it’s really a big deal to let go all of your good lifestyle habits for just a little while -- say just a couple of weeks? Well, researchers at the University of Chicago conducted a study that looked at what happened to healthy adults when they were restricted to couch potato lifestyle for just a few weeks. These results showed that after two weeks of a sedentary lifestyle and eating whatever one wanted the average person gained 2 pounds. Just 2 pounds -- so what’s the big deal.

Okay, the kids are getting ready to go back to school, so you decide to skip workouts for the next couple of weeks (2 pounds). Then the first couple weeks of school are pretty hectic getting school supplies and everyone adjusted to a new schedule -- no time for exercise (2 pounds). Then a friend unexpectedly comes to town -- you spend one week whipping the house into shape and the next week enjoying hitting all the chic lunch spots (2 pounds). Soon Thanksgiving’s upon us and you’re too busy with a house full of guests (2 pounds). Now we’ve got a couple weeks of catch up after taking off for Thanksgiving (2 pounds). Need I go on?

If you follow the couch potato plan for a year, adding 1 pound of extra weight each week, that’d be 52 pounds after a year! Yikes! And you know that once you get out of a good healthy routine, it’s harder to get restarted than to just stick with the program in the first place.

The harm can be much worse than you expect.  First, if your body needs rest from a long week then take it!  We all work hard and put in 110% effort on a daily basis and at times our bodies are on the verge of shutting down so prevent this from happening and take that day.  However, only take that day or those hours to recuperate, try not to let it extend.  Another time when people may take time off is when they are on vacation.  Taking time off on vacation is something that you should be careful with.  Many people when on vacation will end up eating and drinking more than what they normally would so exercise will assist in preventing from weight gain.

Taking a few weeks off can lead to more than just a few weeks.  If you take a week off and gain a pound then think of it as not exercising for the year and putting on an extra 52 pounds.  Not sure but I do not believe too many people want to be putting on weight such as that.  Would this be likely to occur?  Hopefully this will not happen but it can happen and a pound a week may be on the low end depending on your nutritional habits.  Taking extended periods of time off from exercise will leave you with a challenge to get motivated and to start exercise once again. 

With all of this being said do yourself a favor, stay active to stay healthy!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.