Why You Should Keep Exercising Over The Christmas Break

At Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Bella VistaRandwickLindfield and Balmain discuss today why you should still aim to exercise over the Christmas break.

I think we can all agree 2020 has been a big year for us all. After several curve balls, the latest being the recent COVID-19 cluster on the Northern Beaches, I think a lot of us are looking forward to some downtime over the Christmas period. We are not here to discourage you from taking a break. Our Exercise Physiologist Shannon recently discussed the importance of rest during exercise and the resulting benefits, but taking too much rest can have the opposite effect.

It has been shown individuals can lose strength within 3 weeks and cardiovascular fitness in as little as 1 week of complete rest! Extended periods of complete rest can also increase your risk of injury when you return to your regular exercise routine.

While its a great idea to take a break, what we need to remember is that something is better than nothing. Taking a few resistance bands on your holiday and keeping up your step count can have a bigger effect on your overall health and fitness than you may think.

A recent study looked at several individuals who competed in the Boston Marathon and subsequently reduced their physical activity dramatically, cutting back to running only 3-4 miles a week for 4 weeks. The study found that after 4 weeks of this  the runners cardiovascular fitness dropped significantly. However, the research noted that these individuals would have seen larger declines if they had stopped running completely, and keeping up a small amount of running helped them maintain some level of fitness.

Not only is important from a performance point of view to participate in some exercise over the break but it is as equally as important for our overall wellbeing. For example, individuals with diabetes should aim to go no longer than 48hours without exercise as after this period the increase in insulin sensitivity we see immediately following a bout of exercise begins to wear off.

So how much should you be doing? Ideally, we should always be aiming to achieve the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines of 150minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and two strength sessions a week. A good place to start might be trying to hit a step count of 10 000 steps a day and throwing some resistance bands into your luggage so you can keep up some strength training. Our Exercise Physiologist Guy recently discussed how best to exercise on a road trip.

From all of Longevity we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and are very much looking forward to continuing to help you achieve your health and fitness goals in the New Year.

Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Bella VistaRandwickLindfield and Balmain on 1300 964 002 to enquire today.

Written By Georgia Wassall


Cardiovascular response to prescribed detraining among recreational athletes Charles R. Pedlar, Marcel G. Brown, Robert E. Shave, James M. Otto, Aimee Drane, Jennifer Michaud-Finch, Miranda Contursi, Meagan M. Wasfy, Adolph Hutter, Michael H. Picard, Gregory D. Lewis, and Aaron L. Baggish. Journal of Applied Physiology 2018 124:4, 813-820


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