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SPORTS: WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF TAKING A BREAK FROM EXERCISE DURING THE HOLIDAYS?

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Heading out on holiday and afraid to lose the ground you've gained during the year? In this article, you'll find out what happens to your body when you stop all physical activity. Eva, your Domyos coach, will also explain how to keep up with your training when you're away from home. Enjoy!

 

Stopping sports during holidays: what are the risks?

Several body systems undergo changes during an interruption of your training.

 

  • Reduced cardio endurance capabilities: Within 10 to 14 days, you can already observe a 20% reduction in cardiovascular performance, a reduction in the respiratory rate, and an increase in heart rate.

  • Reduced strength: A drop of 15-20% can be observed after 4 weeks without physical activity.

  • Energy reserves: Your body's store of sugars in your muscles will decrease and its store of fats will increase.

  • Muscular changes: The difference can start to be felt after about 3 weeks. Muscle fibres which were specially built up (quick fibres, or slow/endurance fibres) will decrease in proportion.

  • Muscle mass: Within 20 days, about 10 to 15% of muscle mass is lost if it is not maintained.

 

After the 10th day without exercise, your body's metabolic rate starts to drop off. This metabolic rate corresponds to the number of calories burned within 24 hours with the body at rest. Training increases this rate, while inactivity lowers it. It is therefore imperative, if you stop exercising or sports, that you also reduce your calorie intake to avoid gaining fat mass.

 

How to keep up your fitness training during the holidays.

Here are a few fitness exercises that you can do while on holiday which don't require any special equipment.

 

Press-ups

  • Muscles trained: large and small pectorals, triceps, deltoids, abdominals.

  • Execution: face down, hands spread apart past the shoulders, legs straight and resting on toes. Bend elbows to lower your body down to the floor (face should be 5 cm from the floor), then raise your body back up.

  • Breathing: breathe in on the way down, breathe out on the way up.

  • Safety tips: keep your abdominals contracted so as not to bend your back.

  • Number of repetitions: 3 sets of 20 press-ups with 1 minute of recovery between each set.

 

Burpees

  • Muscles trained: the entire body. This exercise improves your respiratory capacity.

  • Execution: stand up, legs slightly spread apart at hip width; place your hands on the ground. Quickly kick out your feet behind you to move to a prone position, then pull them up under your torso and jump with your arms over your head. To increase the level of difficulty, add a press up while you're in the prone position, or a pull-up after the jump.

  • Breathing: exhale on your way down, inhale as you bring your legs under your torso, and then exhale again as you jump.

  • Safety tips: keep your abdominals contracted so as not to bend your back

  • Number of repetitions: as many as possible in 30 seconds; repeat 3 times.

 

Sit-ups

  • Muscles trained: large obliques, hip flexors.

  • Execution: lie on your back on the floor, legs bent. Stretch your arms out behind you and quickly thrust them forward to lift your upper body. Once in a seated position, place your outstretched arms above your head and stretch upwards.

  • Breathing: breathe in while laying flat and breathe out in the end position (sitting).

  • Number of repetitions: as many times as you can in 1 minute.

 

Lunges

  • Muscles trained: quads, glutes, hamstrings.

  • Execution: standing, feet spread apart at hip width; take one step forward. Place your hands on your hips, look straight ahead and lower your rear knee until it touches the floor. Stand back up. To increase the level of difficulty, do jump lunges: jump to reverse the position of your feet at the end of each lunge.

  • Breathing: breathe in on the way down, breathe out on the way up.

  • Safety tips: make sure to keep your front knee vertically aligned with your heel to avoid injury. Contract your ab muscles and keep your torso straight.

  • Number of repetitions: Do 8 lunges on each side.

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