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Do we really lose our fitness quickly after stopping sports?


Getting fit takes effort and time, but we lose it quickly once we stop exercising.

In this report, published by The Conversation, Australian writers Dan Gordon and Justin Roberts said the mechanism of body loss of fitness requires a full understanding of how to access it in the first place.

Key to fitness:

 The key to improving fitness, whether by enhancing cardiovascular fitness or muscle strength, is to overcome the "usual stamina" and this means a greater physical effort than the body is used to.

 The time it takes for the body to achieve fitness depends on many factors, including initial fitness levels, age, effort, and even the surrounding environment.

 Some studies suggest that only 6 sessions of intermittent training can increase the maximum oxygen capacity of the body, a general fitness measure, and improve the body's efficiency in powering itself by burning sugar stored in cells during exercise.

 For example, strength and resistance exercises improve muscle strength in less than two weeks, but changes in muscle size will only appear after 8 to 12 weeks of training.

 Cardiovascular fitness:

 The authors noted that the speed of fitness loss immediately after cessation of exercise depends on many factors, including the type of fitness (e.g. muscle strength or cardiovascular fitness).

 For example, a marathon runner who has gained fitness over 15 years, by exercising 5-6 days a week, can begin losing that fitness within a few weeks of rest.

 Cardio-respiratory fitness, indicated by maximum oxygen capacity (the amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise), decreases by approximately 10% in the first four weeks after stopping exercise. That decline continues but at a slower rate over longer periods.

 Athletes accustomed to intensive training will see a sharp drop in maximum oxygen capacity for the first four weeks, but this decline eventually stabilizes at a higher level than the average person, the report said.

 But for the average human being, maximum oxygen capacity drops sharply, returning to pre-training levels in less than 8 weeks.

 The decrease in maximum oxygen capacity is due to a decrease in blood volume and plasma - which is up to 12%, the first four weeks after a person has stopped training - due to lack of pressure on the heart and muscles.

 During the first two days after stopping exercise, plasma volume decreases by 5%, reducing the amount of blood the heart pumps throughout the body with each pulse. However, these levels stabilize at the initial rate and do not get worse than before exercise.

 Strength exercises:

 Evidence shows that a normal person's 12-week interruption of resistance and weightlifting exercises can cause a significant reduction in the weight of weight he or she can carry.

 Fortunately, research has found that some of the muscle strength ones gained before dropping out of training can be maintained. Interestingly, despite the marked decline in muscle strength, the size of muscle fibers is only slightly reduced.

 The authors explained that the loss of muscle strength is due to stopping pressure and lethargy, which leads to shrinking muscle fibers and reducing the number of muscles used by the body during physical activity during the day, which makes us less able to lift the usual heavyweights.

 Just two weeks after the workout, the number of muscle fibers normally used during exercise is reduced by about 13%, although this does not appear to be accompanied by a decrease in muscle strength as a whole. This indicates that staying longer without exercise results in a combination of initial contraction of activated muscle fibers with a slower reduction in muscle mass.

 The report noted that one does not feel the effects of dropping out of training until at least two to three weeks after cardiovascular fitness, and about 6-10 weeks for muscle strength.

 Changes in the body are similar between men and women, and even for older athletes. But the more fit one is at first, the less fitness you have gained.