We are in the midst of the FMCO, we can't travel to other districts AND worst of all, the law says, we are not allowed to cycle! However, that does not mean you should pack your bike away and become a couch potato. Do something! Keep up the active lifestyle! Do home workouts that can help improve your cycling once the lockdown is over! It is imperative to keep up an active lifestyle as there are negative consequences on our body when we are inactive for periods of time.
Physiological Impact On Our Bodies When Being A Couch Potato
1. Cardiorespiratory fitness will be affected.
- Not training for two to four weeks causes your heart to lose its ability in handling extra blood flow, and this causes your body's capacity of using oxygen to decline.
- Your body loses its' hard earned aerobic capabilities in a matter of two to four weeks which you would have taken two to three months to build!
2. Physical strength will decrease.
- Not training for 12 weeks will cause muscle mass to decrease.
- Strength may maintain for up to four weeks. However, in this time period, endurance and power will decline considerably.
- All is not lost, due to muscle memory, you can regain your former fit self in a shorter time period compared to when it took you to train from the ground up.
3. Increase in blood pressure.
- Studies have shown that there was a decrease in blood pressure in prehypertensive men that went through a six month duration of training. However, after two weeks of inactivity, their blood pressure increased.
- This shows that it is beneficial, especially for people with hypertension to exercise regularly.
4. Increase in body fat.
- When not exercising, your body will lose muscle mass and this causes your metabolism to slow down.
- This causes the muscle to lose some of its' ability to help your body lose fat.
- Coupled with how your body is not as active before and how it is not burning the same amount of calories it's used to, additional calories will be stored as fat.
Ways To Slow Or Stop Fitness Loss
1. Don't stop your exercising!
- Keep yourself active.
2. Eat healthy.
- Do not binge on junk food.
Lesson learned here is, don't be a couch potato otherwise you will find yourself panting for air after cycling a much shorter distance than you would normally would.