Have you ever heard the old adage “Use it or Lose It”? This can be directly applied to your muscular system and your cardiovascular system. When you stop exercising for a long period of time, you don’t put the needed stress on your lungs and muscles. Our body’s ability to adapt is what makes us special. Typically, we think about our bodies adapting to stress (working out), but our body will adapt to the lack of stress also. Our muscles will start to deteriorate, and our lungs will become less efficient. Therefore, the first workout is always the hardest whether it’s your first day back from a break or your first workout ever. This is important to keep in mind for all populations. For athletes and young adults, you will typically see less deterioration but there are some clear changes over time in athletic ability. For older populations, having a “maintain” mindset is crucial. Common goals are for a better functioning life and not so much geared towards a sport. It is important to stay consistent over time to keep healthy mobility and functionality. Keeping a consistent exercise regimen can fight cardiovascular disease and helps prevent falling. A good goal to begin with is trying to exercise 2-3 times a week for 30 mins. This keeps you happy and motivated. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, “less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day!!”
Life is unpredictable, but it is important to keep your health in mind. No matter what happens consistency is key!