Why do I lose my fitness so easily?
This is the fifteenth question that I’m answering this month of the 24 most commonly asked questions Mark and I receive.
The Short Answer
Your body is no different than any other living organism. If you treat it properly, it lasts. If you don’t, it deteriorates.
Consistency has always been and will always be the most important aspect of health. Therefore, you (and everyone else) loses their fitness fast because you fall out of the habit of daily exercise.
The Longer Answer
“Conditioning takes months to develop while strength takes years.”
This is a common saying in the strength and conditioning world. The same is also true for how how you lose your fitness.
Conditioning is lost relatively quickly (some studies suggest it to be as early as four days of inactivity), while strength lasts more like four weeks before you will begin to notice a decline.
But don’t underestimate the value in taking rest days (or even a rest week when you go on vacation once a year). The path to health is never a linear line, so don’t beat yourself up about taking one step back before you take two steps forward.
As my good friend James Clear always says, “Become the type of person that never misses two days in-a-row of exercise.”
If you can do that, you won’t lose your fitness; except for the very, very small dip you will take once a year in the Summer when you and your family go on vacation.