After three weeks of stop the first negative consequences on the cardiovascular system and later on the muscles. In tips to restart and reactivate muscle memory
Americans call them «snack exercise»: they are “snacks” of physical activity that can be strategic to reconnect mentally and physically to the idea of moving regularly after a long break. Often, in fact, the movement “unplugs” for the whole autumn and winter to start again in this period. «Training programs must always be personalized on the basis of many parameters such as age, gender, previous fitness level, duration of inactivity and above all the cause of the stop. In fact, the recovery pattern will be very different if the interruption is linked to an injury or illness,” he begins. Gianfranco Beltramispecialist in Sports Medicine and Cardiology, vice president of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation.
The threshold of the third week
Around the third week offthe scholars have found, occur i major changes in form, ability to train. In fact, it significantly decreases the activity of the mitochondria, the energy control units of the cells. “Biochemical processes take place inside them which favor the production of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) providing the cells with the energy they need for all their vital functions”, continues the expert. «With movement, the body’s demand for oxygen increases in proportion to the intensity of the exercise and training allows you to prolong physical activity before feeling tired. Also, movement causes an increase in cardiac output volume and plasma volume
resulting in an increase in maximal oxygen consumption, a reduction in resting heart rate, and a better redistribution of blood flow.
The heart is the first to suffer
All these beneficial adaptations are lost if you do not exercise regularly. Inactivity first affects the cardiovascular system
. One of the first things that decreases is resistance, after a few days of rest the volume of blood plasma decreases. After 12 days, says Front Physiology, the total amount of blood that the heart pumps every minute drops. “In fact, we’re talking about cardiorespiratory detraining because the heart dimensions are reduced, including the ventricular volume and the thickness of the walls of the heart, the blood pressure and the heart rate increase and the ventilation efficiency is reduced», continues the sports doctor. «After that it’s up to the muscles and the maximum weight you can lift decreases. We talk about muscle detraining and alterations occur both in the structure and in the function of the muscle itself».
The first step to start over
The guidelines of the World Health Organization recommend, to enjoy it in health, a sporting goal including between 150 and 300 minutes per week
of moderate activity (like a brisk walk) or between 75 and 150 minutes a week of vigorous activity (such as running) or a combination of the two workouts. «The first step for a good recovery after a long break, especially if you are not very young or if you are recovering from a long illness, can be to introduce snack exercise: take the stairs as much as possible, perform bodyweight exercises instead of dumbbells, walk», suggests Beltrami. «The workloads depend on the level of previous training, the duration of the inactivity, the age of the subject, any concomitant pathologies».
Set a goal
The second step is set a regular training goal and, if possible, consulting a specialist. “The best personal trainer is learning to listen to how the body feels,” says Beltrami. «In any case, do not train every day if you experience pain, if you feel tired, if you have not slept well and always combine training with correct nutrition. As far as aerobic activity is concerned, one can maintain one heart rate not exceeding 80-85% of the maximum (calculated by running 220 minus age), gradually increasing workloads both in terms of intensity and duration. For example, when you can walk briskly or jog for half an hour a day for 2-3 weeks, it means you can increase your pace. As regards, however, the use of weights, you can start with dumbbells that you can easily lift for 10-12 repetitions and increase the load when you can do 15 or more repetitions. Remember that rest is a fundamental part of training».
Fitness is a combination of many factors: muscle strength, cardiovascular training, lifestyle, genetics, previous age and fitness level. Indeed, there is one muscle memory which favors the recovery of those who have trained regularly in the past. “This memory it lasts 4 or 5 months and is also connected to the nervous system. Repetition of the exercise after a certain period of time will show that it will be much easier to return to the levels of load that you were able to lift previously than the difficulty originally experienced. At any age, by resuming activity, strength can be doubled within a few months» concludes the expert.
March 28, 2023 (change March 28, 2023 | 06:49)