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How Much Your Fitness Fades During an Exercise Hiatus

An expert explains new research about taking time off from exercising

By Paul Vogelzang

(Editor's note: This podcast is from The Not Old – Better Show.)

Credit: Adobe Stock

We all know that keeping a fitness routine is important for our health — both physical and mental. But life does happen, and sometimes we get thrown off our personal fitness program. In some cases, it's a vacation that takes away from our routine. Or, sometimes your body just needs a rest, maybe some time to reset.

For most people who are exercising regularly and have a moderate-to-solid conditioning level [working out four to six times a week], a week off is an opportunity to take a break and refresh the mind and body. Assuming you don't let the hiatus go for too long, you probably don't need to stress about falling out of shape. But if your time off from exercise goes on longer, you could have problems.


In today's Fitness Friday program, we talk about getting back to exercise after taking a fitness hiatus. It can feel like lifting weights, running or balancing for the very first time. The change is real and can be pretty discouraging. But how much is a hiatus really throwing you off your health fitness goals? And how long is too long before you've disrupted all the hard work you previously put in?

To answer these questions, we hear from Sabrena Jo, director of science and research content for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She has information about new research on how fitness fades when people stop exercising.

Paul Vogelzang is an award-winning blogger, podcaster, writer, and producer, known for his down to earth accessible reporting and advice for men and women in the 50 + age community. Paul is the host of The Not Old - Better Show launched in 2014. Paul shares vibrant, focused, entertaining content on the show, and writes frequently about the subjects of fashion, grooming, entertainment, technology, fitness and relationships for those in the 50+ age community. Read More
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