Just two lazy weeks can undo your good work

A lazy couple of weeks could undo your client’s hard work in the gym, a recent study has found.
While the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are well documented, it seems that even a short period of time spent on inactive pursuits may be enough to negatively impact the health of usually active individuals.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the UK found that when people who usually exercised stopped doing so for 14 days, they experienced metabolic changes that could increase the risk of chronic disease, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

For the study, 28 healthy, and usually active, adults with a mean BMI of 25 were required to drastically reduce the amount of steps they took on a daily basis – from 10,000 down to 1,500. This translated to an increase of over two hours more sedentary time each day.

Health checks found that after the two weeks, participants had lost muscle mass, and increased body fat, particularly in the central ‘danger zone’ of the body linked to increased risk of chronic disease.

Commenting on the findings, study leader Dr Dan Cuthbertson said, ‘The results emphasise the importance of remaining physically active, and highlight the dangerous consequences of continuous sedentary behaviour.’

So does this mean that you need to advise clients who are going on holiday to ensure they work out every day rather than just lounging poolside sipping margaritas? Well, it’s not a bad suggestion, but the reality is that we all find ourselves taking some time out from exercise at some point. The key lesson here for clients and members is that the benefits they gain from exercise will not be ongoing unless they include physical activity in their day-to-day lives. They should aim to make exercise part of their lifestyle, rather than an occasional burst to achieve a short term goal.

Source: European Congress on Obesity