If I stop working out, my muscles will turn to fat! Right? Wrong!

This will not be the case unless you’re an alchemist or a genetic mutant. Here’s a basic anatomy lesson: “Muscle is muscle and fat is fat”. You can’t turn the one into the other. Oooh, if only we could….

So what really happened 15 years ago when you stopped working out? We hear people say:”I always used to be in such good condition, and now a couple of years later I have lost it all.  I have constant back aches and just jogging down the garage way makes me tired already!” The answer is very simple, your caloric demand decreased dramatically since the day you stopped training  BUT your caloric intake did not change a thing. In fact it probably increased with all the other perks of having a good life! When training the athlete can consume huge amounts of calories, even when the food is healthy, still they need energy to fulfill their demands. Not only is eating perfectly all right, but it’s necessary to fuel the performance efforts we demand from our bodies. Remember, “food is fuel”… and we need full tanks to go a long way. The problem with abandoning activity that make all this food intake necessary is that the body no longer requires as many calories. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to adjust eating habits to accommodate this diminished need. Often, it’s not the athlete’s fault. It just happens so slowly and unnoticed.

An insidious thing happens. After 72 hours of the last workout, the body begins a gentle, almost undetectable slide into sloth. In time, muscle mass diminishes. Finely tuned muscles that used to fire and burn calories, and juice up metabolism just can’t do the job anymore. Consequently, the body does not burn fat particularly efficiently. So the fat gain accelerates, compounded by a declining metabolism, diminishing muscle mass, and failure to adjust caloric intake. Muscles do NOT turn into fat. The fat takes over. The trick, of course, is to continue working out at some level.

How can I start again? Don’t waste your money on a 2 year contract at the local fitness and health club. You will never get there in anyway, rather start progressively and slowly with cycling, running or swimming. Build it up from 15 min everyday to 45 min 5 times per week. And always incorporate Active isolated stretching into this, keeping the muscles stretched and balanced is essential in preventing any injuries.

See more on www.stretchingsa.co.za

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